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Phil's Story

No campaign to stop the epidemic of violence against women will be complete until we apologise to the forgotten women, my sister among them, denied justice in our courtrooms.

At 8am on the morning of 26 August 1987 my 25-year-old sister was attacked by her knife-wielding ex-boyfriend as she parked her car outside the kindergarten where she worked.

When Vicki was pronounced dead at the Melbourne General Hospital I cuddled my mother as she cried, ‘Philip, what am I going to do?’. Vicki was Mum’s first daughter, after four boys.

A modern young woman from a progressive working class family, she lost her life to a vengeful man who refused to accept her right to be free of him. In a courtroom eighteen months later this violent misogynist was granted a defence of provocation, found not guilty of murder and sentenced to three years and eleven months in jail.

Researching the history of ‘wife killing’ I soon discovered, sadly, that what happened to my sister, on the street and in a courtroom, was all too common. Just how many women have been murdered in so-called ‘domestic settings’ in Australia we can’t say, for no government agency has engaged in such research.

Might it be close to 3000 women lost since the publication in 1970 of Germaine Greer’s seminal, The Female Eunuch?

Family violence awareness front and centre at Vicki Cleary Tribute Match

Take a stand to help end family violence by attending a community day at Coburg Football Club on Sunday 30 April 2017.

Vicki Cleary Tribute Match flyer.pdf Vicki Cleary Tribute Match flyer.pdfPDF (27.93 MB) ​​​​The club is hosting a free event dedicated to the memory of Vicki Cleary, who was murdered by her ex-partner 30 years ago, and all victims and survivors of family violence.

Vicki is the sister of Phil Cleary, Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council member and Coburg club legend.

Since Vicki’s tragic and untimely death, Phil has been unwavering in his commitment to creating legal, cultural and social change to end family violence.

Phil spearheaded a successful 2005 campaign to abolish the provocation defence in Victoria, preventing men who kill their current or ex-partners avoiding a murder conviction by claiming they were provoked.

The sporting focus of Vicki Cleary Day will be the third round VFL clash between Coburg and Northern Blues Football Club at 2pm.

Family activities, including Auskick, will take place throughout the afternoon at Coburg’s Piranha Park, on the corner of Harding and Russell Streets.

The Victorian Government is proud to partner with Coburg Football Club to hold this vital community-driven event to help raise awareness about violence against women.

Join us in standing together for a future free from family violence.