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STOMP out the abuse now

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Published
27 August 2007
“We hear your cries, we share your pain and we are going to do everything we possibly can to stop abuse happening,” is the message a group of Masters students at Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples are sending the abused children of Australia and the adults who suffered abuse as children.

The group, in partnership with Southern Cross University and the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN), is calling on the wider community to join them in a massive rally and concert – the STOMP IT Awareness Carnival – being held at the Lismore campus on Sunday, September 9, from 10am to 4pm.

Legendary Indigenous performers Kev Carmody and country music and gospel singer Roger Knox will head the day’s stellar entertainment, which includes internationally acclaimed didjeri-bone player, Tjupurru, and Buddy Knox and his blues band.

There will be the performance of a children’s corroboree, choreographed by Indigenous storyteller and dancer Dhinawan, as well as a rich and diverse program of entertainment for children provided by entertainers and educators Mereki, John Huckle and Helen Moran. Bush tucker food workshops, dancing and singing will also feature throughout the day.

The aim of STOMP IT is to bring attention to the plight of all children who continue to suffer abuse and to highlight the positive solutions and strategies that can be put in place to deal with this national crisis. But it also aims to bring healing to adults who are still struggling with the pain and trauma of their own abuse.

Community members are invited to attend a lecture series on the day to hear the views of experts in the field, including Professor Judy Atkinson, to learn about her plan of action to tackle inter-generational trauma and abuse in troubled Indigenous communities.

“We hope the people of Australia from all races and nationalities will support this event because abuse happens in every community across all social and cultural backgrounds. Even if they can’t physically be here they might consider making a donation,” said Trevor Knox, head of the STOMP IT Masters students’ steering committee.

“We planned this event well before the huge public outcry following the release of the ‘Little Children Are Sacred’ report, to coincide with National Child Protection Week, a time to draw focus to the problems of child abuse and neglect and to take action to help prevent it.

“The week aims to capture the hearts and minds of every Australian to take responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of children and we plan for the STOMP IT event to become an annual festival that coincides with Child Protection Week each year.

“The concert in Lismore is our way of making a stand against abuse, including the sexual abuse of children, violence and neglect. We cannot and will not let our children go through the abuse we have been through.

“This concert presents an opportunity for the Northern Rivers community to take a stand against violence and abuse and, in doing so, encourage other communities to follow our lead by recognizing and naming Australia’s hidden shame and being prepared to STOMP IT out.

“As Southern Cross University Masters students in Indigenous Studies (Wellbeing), we feel that we are graduating with the real-life skills and knowledge needed to bring real, workable solutions and strategies to respond to this national tragedy and we invite people to come along and listen as well as to enjoy a great family day out.”

If you can help in any way contact Trevor Knox on 02 6620 9282, or 0434951037 or email [email protected].

Photo: Gnibi Masters students who form the STOMP IT committee are from left (back row): Darlene Rotumah, Amanda Francis, Sharna Cox, Sue Peisto, Trevor Knox, Fran Parker, Angie Francis, Mareese Terare and Kathy Hamaguchi. Front: Janet Mosquera.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley, Southern Cross University media officer 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.