Transcript of messages collected from discussion groups and individuals at the Mayday Women's Forum:


  • Housing for single parents a great need. Each town should have community housing.

  • Education — training

                        — life skills

  • List or register of available resources in local communities. Are these supported enough?

  • Healthcare - not enough

  • NO banks in a township the size of Korumburra - Age discrimination

B. Serious funding for housing for women and low income people.

  • More support for neighbourhood houses which are picking up pieces beyond adult education with v. limited resources — funding required that is secure and long-term and not tied to narrow specific outcomes

  • Jobs for women in rural areas which are flexible, not just in farming or blue collar areas  part time for older women

  • More funded social and psychological counselling and family violence support

C.  State planning policy change to allow houses to be built on unproductive rural land (<40ha; 100 acres) and second, low cost houses to be built on small rural blocks or allow tiny houses to be temporarily allowed. This would allow income stream for retirees.

D.  Please support any community initiative that feeds the people. Communally grown food creates many, many exchanges that promote social cohesion, improved mental health and (obviously) physical wellbeing.

E.  Access to healthcare: Capacity of local medical clinics (Foster/Toora) not sufficient

F.  Red tape: there is too much red tape stopping individuals from helping out in communities eg. donating food; providing a place to stay in an emergency. How do we help women in an emergency - a lot of us have a spare room for temporary assistance.

G.  The reflection group noted key issues as:

  • homelessness — need for more public/social housing

  • issues associated with women’s safety remain with us forever - intensive, complex issues

  • loss of emergency housing

  • recognise the complexity of high numbers of small, rural communities across Victoria

  • how do we prevent the point where public housing becomes so desperate - the issue cycles around?

  • recognise that there are services available - raising awareness - you don’t know what you don’t know

  • how do we support men in domestic/family violence cycles?

  • how do we promote and build upon our sense of community?

  • raising awareness of the issues and magnitude of issues through this forum has been really positive

  • stress and pressure in home increased by family responsibilities - work/child raising/...

  • be aware that something may not be directly impacting you; doesn’t mean it’s not there - shame

H.  educate boys on effective vulnerability and communication through schools, sports programs, men’s sheds etc.

I.  Homelessness

J.  Courses to be run at High Schools about bringing up kids and treating partners with respect - Listen up

  • internet connection - increase capacity Wireless Broadband

  • application for Disability Pensions - waited already ten years. I am unable to find or be accepted for employment positions due mostly to my health issues, limited internet skills to even apply for employment.

  • Mannagum [Neighbourhood House in Foster South Gippsland] - maybe have more community get-togethers eg. lunches available. More funding for classes, hobbies and computer courses.

I was very glad to have this opportunity to hear other peoples stories, lives and about their difficulties.

K.   Federal/state law suggestion:

  • an answer to housing shortage is that individuals (or businesses) should only be allowed to own the home they live in plus one other.

People become very greedy as private landlords. It would free up housing for others, young people. Housing should be responsibility of govt. not greedy private citizens

L.  Services must be localised so that people needing help can be supported by their local communities. That community help is vital.

M.  Promotion of family supports, parenting etc.


  • Housing! A massive issue in our local area as it is everywhere. We have had families move from our schools and towns because there is nothing...Why are public housing housed being sold?

  • Mental Health - where is all the so-called fund for rural mental health? There is nothing it seems on the ground! I could go on forever but [these are] 2 points that are paramount!

O.  Stop violence against women. Now. Men’s violence is deliberate and designed to coerce women into serving them.

P.  Secure, long term funding for Community houses in EVERY rural town


  • Lack of social housing and services for those in need

  • Family violence services

  • mental health services

  • Politicians held accountable for their behaviour.

R.  These are intense and complex issues. The culture of patriarchy needs to be addressed.


  • Concerned about homelessness - lack of needs [being met], lack of strength of agency; purchase homes from slum lords, fix and put homeless in

  • Independent accountability in reporting of women’s issues

  • Quota’s are ok however, the party line does not help women’s issues.

T.  Celebrate the Good! Positive Parenting. Great Role Models.

U.  Affordable Housing: Need to acquire property now; building will take too much time.