Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart has been recognised for her efforts in the family and domestic violence space at the LGAQ Annual Conference.
Cr Stewart received a special commendation recognising her prevention and awareness work in the Noosa Shire during the presentation of the third annual Alison Woolla Memorial Award for Local Leadership in Preventing Domestic and Family Violence.
The award, which was won by Townsville resident Kellie Bowie, recognises leadership in the Queensland community, in honour of Alison Woolla, a pioneering former Mayor of Aurukun Shire Council who provided remarkable leadership and support for members of her community when they were experiencing abuse.
Winner Ms Bowie opened her home to members of the LGBTIQ community experiencing domestic and family violence for emergency housing.
Cr Stewart’s nomination came from the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council at the Premier’s Department.
The nomination highlighted the strong public focus Cr Stewart had brought to the issue of DFV across the Noosa Shire.
“Clare has brought a strong public focus of the issue of domestic and family violence across the Noosa local government area,” the nomination stated.
“A genuine leader, since being elected as Mayor of Noosa Shire, Clare has worked tirelessly to raise community awareness of DFV and prioritise Council’s response in the workplace and local government area.”
Cr Stewart said she was incredibly humbled by the recognition.
“Domestic violence. We all hate it, and we all want to eradicate it. It’s a disease destroying so many lives,” she said.
“In Noosa, we are told incidents of domestic violence have increased by nearly 50 per cent since Covid. Our women and children are sleeping in their cars, sleeping on friend’s couches and even worse, returning back to the perpetrators because it’s safer.
“Our local police are spending around 40 per cent of their working lives on incidents relating to DV. These stats are frightening but they are real.
“Supporting Noosa’s domestic and family violence response is a Noosa Council priority.
“This award is a grateful recognition of the work we, as a community, are doing but there is still so much more to do.”