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Ribbons show solidarity

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August 22, 2017

Ribbons will be tied to the fence at Tatura Sacred Heart church after Sunday's Mass as part of the Loud Fences initiative. Community members are invited to add more ribbons throughout September.

Coinciding with Child Protection Week (September 4 to 10), the Tatura Sacred Heart Parish will show its support by taking part in the Loud Fences initiative next month.

The parish will hand out coloured ribbons at Mass on September 3 and 10 when parishioners will be invited to tie them to the fence afterwards.

Parishioner Judith Steele said ribbons would also be available in the foyer of the Church.

‘‘So we invite everyone in the community to join with Sacred Heart parishioners in tying a coloured ribbon on our fence throughout the month of September to express support and solidarity for the victims of abuse of any kind,’’ she said.

Ms Steele said the Loud Fence initiative was born from the personal stories told during the Royal Commission into the institutional response to child sexual abuse in 2015.

Instigator Maureen Hatcher explained how Loud Fences came to be on its Facebook page.

‘‘Some ribbons had started to appear on the gates of St Patrick’s College, Ballarat,’’ she said.

‘‘Two of us arranged to meet and tie ribbons onto the fence of the former Christian Brothers School in Ballarat to show support for our ex-classmates who had attended there.

‘‘We debated what colour. Should they be white or silver?

‘‘Then somebody said — no let’s make them colourful; loud.

‘‘There’s been too much silence.’’

The proceedings coincide with National Child Protection Week, which invites all Australians to play their part to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

Launched on Father’s Day each year, the week is now in its 26th year.

‘‘We are adopting a simple way of showing our support by (the Loud Fence) program,’’ Ms Steele said.

‘‘We thought that all of September could be a time to show our support and solidarity.’’

The ribbons will remain on the fence until the end of September.

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