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Happy first day of winter! ❄️ It’s the perfect excuse to drag out your Ugg-boots and start drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate (if you haven’t already! 😋).

With statewide travel restrictions lifting today, now’s the time to start planning your next day-trip or holiday across Queensland. There is honestly no other place I’d rather be than in Queensland during winter!🧥🧣🧤
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If you've been around the Coorparoo Square precinct recently you may have noticed some improvements at the junction intersection.

Council has installed red arrows on the traffic lights to protect pedestrians as they cross, and we've also added countdown clocks.

This is in addition to works completed earlier this year to extend the yellow line on Cavendish Road from Old Cleveland Road to Holdsworth Street to improve traffic flow and visibility.

Next on the program is the installation of pedestrian refuge/splitter islands on Harries Road near Woolworths and a zebra crossing on Holdsworth Street. I know locals are eagerly awaiting these works and it won't be too long before they are delivered.
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This afternoon Brisbane City Council has voted to adopt a Domestic Violence Strategy – to raise awareness, partner with peak organisations, and importantly to provide support to Council’s significant and diverse workforce.

Below are the remarks I made during the meeting this afternoon.


Just over three months ago, something happened in my community that will change my life, and many others, forever.
Something unimaginable.
Something that I can’t reconcile.
Something that will never make sense.
Something that will always leave part of me heartbroken and looking for answers.
Something hidden by the calm familiar setting of leafy suburban streets, of white picket fences.
Something sinister yet invisible in a community where kids play happily in local parks and people smile politely as they pass each other in coffee shops.

You know the story.

For many of us, it started like any other ordinary weekday morning.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of any parent’s life – a mother coaxing her children into the car. Negotiating with them to settle into their seats and to buckle up.
A mother just like me – impatient and anxious to get on with the day ahead.
A mother just like me – undergoing the routine tasks of drop off – all the while checking off the list of packed lunch boxes, school books and hats… somehow all mixed in with the list of tasks needed to be completed when finally you arrive at work.
Apparently they call it the motherload.
But regardless of your gender, if you’re a parent, you know what I’m talking about.

And then, it happened.
And it happened in my community.
I’m not going to go into the details here. These are horrific scenes that will haunt the residents in those streets, and the wider Brisbane community, for years to come.

But what I often reflect on is the role that local government, and local councillors sometimes find themselves in.
As councillors, no matter what our political affiliations are, we first and foremost represent our communities.
We all take pride in working at the grassroots level to support our residents and improve our neighbourhoods.

So what do you do, how do you respond, when your community is dealt such a horrific blow?
In an instant your role as a local councillor is about much more than the traditional roads, rates and rubbish.
It’s a role of support. It’s a role that cares. It’s a role that above all else puts community first.
Sometimes it can also be a role that fills the void left by other levels of government… after all we as Councillors are in roles that have the greatest outreach with community.
It’s also a role of leadership. Of setting an example.

Which brings me to this item - Brisbane City Council’s Domestic Violence Strategy.

As an employer of thousands of people, sadly, we know backed by statistics that this is an issue our employees and our community faces.
What we’ve seen and heard through many tragic stories is just how much Domestic Violence comes to impact every facet of someone’s life.

Their relationships with family and friends, their finances, their living arrangements and their emotional wellbeing.
We know that for many people their job is a part of that mix, and we want to make sure that if any Council employee needs support in this regard, they know what options are available.

Part of this strategy includes training and assistance for employees to help them identify and support their colleagues who might be experiencing violence within their home.
Additionally, this strategy identifies ways that Council can continue to raise awareness and partner with peak organisations.

The Queensland Government remains the lead agency, but every level of government has a role to play.
Our role in Council is focused on educating and supporting the community.

I never met Hannah Clarke, or her beautiful children, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey. My husband knew them and has shared fond memories.
Following their death, I have come to get to know her family.
Her parents, are the most generous, good natured and loving people I have ever met. Her brother, Nat reminds me a little of my own brothers.
I will never forget Hannah, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey for as long as I live.

I am honoured to serve their memory and to support the Clarke family, and take on an unpaid role as Director in the Small Steps 4 Hannah movement.

My message to all councillors might be confronting, but it’s one we need to keep in the forefront of our minds every day.
Domestic and family violence happens in my community.
It happens in your communities.
It happens in all our neighbourhoods.
It doesn’t discriminate by suburb or postcode. By age or by income.
It is incumbent on all of us, not just as Councillors, but as people, and as leaders, to play our part in supporting and caring for fellow residents where possible – to take small steps.
Small Steps for Hannah.
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Today is National Sorry Day.

We should acknowledge the historical mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and express regret for the damage and hurt inflicted on the Stolen Generations, many of whom are still finding their way home.

Whilst we may not be able to come together physically, today is still a chance for us to reflect, reconnect and to renew our commitment to reconciliation. #SorryDay #NationalReconciliationWeek #NRW2020
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I'm sure, like my family, a lot of you enjoy escaping to the oasis that is Bowie's Flat Wetland 🦆

The Bowie’s Flat project is one of the lasting legacies of the late Catherine Bermingham, Councillor for East Brisbane Ward from 1998 until 2008. Council is naming the boardwalk in her honour, but before we make this official with new signage, we’re giving the area a spruce up.

Council has commenced these important maintenance works, which will be completed in a few weeks. During this time, the bridge will be closed to all users and detour signage is in place.

We are looking forward to opening Catherine Bermingham Boardwalk to the community very soon.
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A reminder to be on the look out for students this morning 👩‍🎓👨‍🎓

Local schools have also asked for Council to help with extra safety patrols in drop-off zones 🚸🚸

(Hint: Consider this a heads up! Do the right thing, be safe and go slow).
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