Fed Up Lunch A Winner

February 2015

The applause said it all: The first Fed Up Lunch for McAuley Community Services for Women was a runaway success.

Over 270 people packed the Skyline Restaurant  at Flemington for the lunch which was MC’d by Kiis FM presenter Matt Tilley who kept the afternoon on track throughout the Lightning Stakes Day of speeches, auctions, raffles and fun games.

Guest speaker Noreen Toohey, Lead Magistrate at the Specialist Family Violence Division at Ballarat Court and the Regional Co-ordinating Magistrate for the Sunshine Region, lifted the lid on statistics and the impact of family violence on the community, women and children and agreed that she, like the rest of the room was ‘fed up’ with family violence.

“This year already 14 women have been killed in Australia as a result of family violence, that is a rate of almost two women a week,” she told guests.

“Family violence is an issue for all of us and all of us are impacted whether we realise it or not.”

The lunch was organised by five men – Michael Jones, Toby Potter, Peter Fraser, Scott Walker and Nick Poole – who sprung into action after hearing McAuley Community Services for Women CEO Jocelyn Bignold talk about family violence early 2014 on Triple M Hot Breakfast.

Ms Bignold told guests that she was often asked what people can do to help.

“You can do exactly what Michael Jones and his friends did after hearing about us on radio. Ring us and offer help," Ms Bignold said.

“Whether it is a direct donation; putting on an event, or asking us to run our employer awareness and education training, Engage to Change, in your workplace – in a very practical way - you can reach people that we can’t – and hopefully prevent further instances of violence and homelessness."

"We would be happy to hear from anyone who puts their hand up to support our work.”

Michael Jones said the group hoped to make The Fed Up Lunch an annual event.

“We had no idea what we were taking on but we are thrilled with what we have achieved,” he said.

The lunch raised $30,000. 

Caption: One of the organisers, Michael Jones, is congratulated after the lunch by Member for Gellibrand Tim Watts.