Honouring women of peace

In her twenty years at the Murri Ministry, Ravina Waldren has accompanied many families through times of sorrow and times of joy, has worked towards reconciliation and actively campaigned to prevent Aboriginal deaths in custody. For her important work in the local community, she is going to be honoured with a WILPF Peacewomen Award.

The award will be presented to Ravina and five other outstanding Queensland women on 19th April in an early evening cocktail celebration to be held at COTAH restaurant, South Brisbane.

The Peacewomen Awards were established by the Queensland branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) to honour women as peace builders and recognise the work they do. The awards have run successfully since 2010.

This year’s chosen theme is transformation and Ravina believes that this relates to her work at the Murri Ministry where “we are trying to bring people together and to create a greater understanding and a love and respect for everybody, of all different nationalities, all different backgrounds.”

Assisting people with marriages, baptisms and funerals, the Murri Ministry “provides for the Aboriginal community to be a voice within the Catholic Church,” Ravina said.

Through her work, Ravina has been involved, for many years, in campaigns to prevent Aboriginal deaths in custody. Whenever there is a death in custody, the ministry is notified straight away and therefore able “to bring people together, to come here to this building, to sit down, gather and console each other and see what support is required for the family,” she said.

Every second Aboriginal person in Australia has been affected by a death in custody, Ravina said.

“Every time there is another death in custody it reopens wounds of the pain and the sorrow we carry from the previous death in custody.”

The numbers of Aboriginal deaths in custody have risen since the Royal Commission more than twenty years ago and Ravina has been involved in campaigns raising awareness about this.

To attend the 2013 Peacewomen Awards ceremony, please contact Vikki Henry ph: 3369 4004 email: vicki4peace@yahoo.com or Norma Forrest ph: 3207 7929 email: wilpf.qld@wilpf.org.au by 12 April.

More about WILPF: http://www.wilpf.org.au/

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