On Wednesday evening 23 November law firm Gowland Legal presented the Inaugural Gowland Awards 2016, an event to celebrate the dedication and achievements of frontline workers in domestic violence and to call out domestic violence deniers. The boutique Inner West law firm specialises in family law. The Inner West Mums admin team was fortunate to attend the highly enjoyable evening at NSW Parliament House.
Gowland Legal principal solicitor Lyndal Gowland hosted the evening which had two parts: ‘The Best’ – which included the presentation of two Gold Gowland Awards – and ‘The Worst’, the Howl for a Gowl ‘I Called It Out’ Awards, naming outrageous instances of domestic violence denial.
Gold Gowlands were awarded to television personality and White Ribbon Australia ambassador Andrew O’Keefe, for Excellence in Domestic Violence Awareness, and domestic violence educator Dixie Link-Gordon, for Acts of Resistance that Recognise Survivors’ Strengths.
Andrew O’Keefe, a founding member and past chairman of White Ribbon Australia – a male-led organisation which works to eradicate violence against women – gave a rousing speech about the importance of standing up against men’s violence against women.
Dixie Link-Gordon has dedicated more than twenty years’ service to helping women. She currently works for the Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Corporation, an information and resource centre for Aboriginal women, based in inner-city Sydney. In accepting her award, Link-Gordon gave a deeply moving speech, telling the story of how the women in her community rallied to denounce an extreme act of violence against one of its members.
The Howl for a Gowl ‘I Called It Out’ Awards included four categories: the most trivial or patronising remarks about domestic violence, the most outrageous remark made by a third party apologising for an act/s of domestic violence, the most inaccurate statement about domestic violence, and the worst survivor/victim blaming statement. It was a truly appalling collection of remarks about domestic violence – many by prominent public figures. The award for each category was determined by the loudest booing from the attendees themselves.
Our thanks to Gowland Legal for a thoroughly entertaining evening, and for raising awareness of this very important issue.