Home » Students unveil Red Bench to combat domestic violence

Students unveil Red Bench to combat domestic violence

Guy Hazlewood    June 18, 2024    3 min read   

The Springfield Anglican College secondary campus has taken a bold step in the fight against domestic and family violence by unveiling a new Red Bench on June 10.

This initiative, part of the Red Rose Foundation’s Red Bench project, aims to raise awareness and foster community education on domestic violence through a permanent and visually striking symbol.

TSAC secondary leaders with the red bench. Source: TSAC

College principal Steven Morris expressed pride in joining over 300 other organisations nationwide that have installed or painted red benches.

“Our student leaders have led this project, sending a clear and permanent reminder that we can all ‘take a seat’ to take a stand against domestic violence,” Steven said.

Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council co-chair and Allison Baden-Clay Foundation chair Vanessa Fowler addressed the secondary students at a College assembly.

“It’s wonderful to see The Springfield Anglican College participate in this initiative against domestic and family violence,” she said.

“It’s crucial that we start speaking to our young people about the difference between respectful and unhealthy relationships from an early age, in age-appropriate ways.”

Vanessa emphasised the importance of awareness regarding language and actions and their impact on peers.

“To have a generational change, we need to instil values of respectful friendships and caring for one another from the earliest of ages,” she said.

The Red Bench is strategically placed in a visible yet serene corner of the Secondary Campus, adjacent to the Old Chapel area, Rotary Peace Pole, and front lawn, providing a tranquil space for reflection.

College Chaplain Rev Jonathan Kemp blessed the bench in the presence of the Principal, Executive Leadership Team, and College Student Leaders.

Year 12 Service and Sustainability Captains Lilli Sayer and Nevaeh Kailani were the driving forces behind the Red Bench project.

“We were very passionate about the Red Bench project,” said Nevaeh.

“It is a way that we, as a community, can stand against domestic violence and raise awareness for victims and survivors who may be suffering in silence.”

Lilli shared her personal reflection on the project, noting the significance of collective effort and empathy.

“The Year 12 Leaders painted this bench together. It reminded me that when you look around, you never know what someone is going through,” she said.

“The Red Bench shows that we are there for each other, and it will hopefully help them to feel loved and know there are people who care for them, for many years to come.”

The TSAC plaque. Source: TSAC

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Guy Hazlewood