Family Violence Memorial – Jennifer Jackson

Jennifer Jackson [Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council] My name is Jennifer Jackson, and I'm the chair of the Victim Survivor Advisory Council, a group of victim survivors with lived experience who consult with government and the sector about the reform that can take place.

From our very first meeting that we had together. There was such a sense of genuine compassion and concern for the plight of victim survivors and families who have lost loved ones due to family violence.

It was quite a remarkable journey to work with this group of people from so many different organisations and backgrounds to have our concerns heard and to have them built into the design of this place has been such a fulfilling, satisfying experience.

For many victim survivors, loss is an overarching theme.

Whether it's the loss of a loved one or the loss of a relationship, for very many people, it's the loss of home and community as they flee from family violence.

And we wanted this place to be a place that actually gives something back.

This memorial, this family violence memorial, is quite different from other memorials.

It is a piece of work…it is a place that in some regards will never be finished, will never be complete, because within the next few days, sadly and tragically, we will lose another person to family violence.

So in a sense, this place will never be complete and never be finished.

So there is that sense here that we can't put up a wall of names.

We can't locate this memorial to a specific time, or date, or place.

So it has to be a place that is open, is simple is not prescriptive in any way, so that people who come, will bring the names and they'll bring the stories with them to this place.

This memorial matters because these people's lives mattered.

The families who are grieving, their lives matters.

For people that come to this memorial, my hope is that they are moved by the loss of people's lives, by the loss of potential that those human lives held, that they're moved by the grief and the brokenness that other people hold, but not only moved in an emotional sense, but moved to do something about family violence.

We need to see a change in this country.

We need to see not only a witness in this place to those lives, but that challenge to make change happen.