Family Violence Memorial - Russ Vickery

Russell Vickery [Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council] My name's Russell Vickery and I am the LGBTIQ representative on the Victorian Government's Victim Survivor Advisory Council.

I became involved in the family violence area because I was a victim of family violence in a same sex relationship many years ago.

What, I hope this memorial does is, I hope that it is a place that anybody feels free to come to, a place that feels accepting, a place that's not gendered, a place where you can come and you can have your own experience and find the solace that you need in a very respectful, peaceful place.

What we were looking for and what we thought about very much when we were doing the design work and planning for this memorial, was teachers would be able to bring students and maybe begin the conversation about what family violence is, how it affects people and, you know, ultimately become part of the conversation around prevention.

I think one of the beautiful aspects of this memorial is that it is a place, it's not a thing. And it's living. So it means that this memorial is going to look different. And that's very representative of how people who have experienced family violence grow through that process.

For people that come to this memorial, I'd like you to take away your own experience.

It doesn't matter what gender you are it doesn't matter what your sexuality is.

It doesn't matter what your abilities are.

It doesn't matter your nationality.

It doesn't matter your age.

This memorial is a place that we want you to come to have your very own experience.

I'd also like this memorial to stand as the beginning of prevention of family violence for younger people who come and visit here and experience or discuss family violence for the very first time.