Tea and Scones for Joce at High Tea

It’s tea and cake this Mother’s Day for Jocelyn Bignold, CEO of McAuley Community Services for Women. Most years it’s a relaxed affair with family, but this year there’s a twist. She will be hoping the day, in fact the month of May, raises funds through the High Tea Appeal. While her high tea won’t be a big affair, it will add to the groundswell of community support for the organisation Ms Bignold has headed since 2008.

Joce sees Mother’s Day a little differently to most people as she is acutely aware of the plight of many mothers who are suffering family violence.

“We just received a letter from a woman, a mother, who has been through many refuges over many years – starting when she had a week old baby and talking about now, a decade later – how hard must parenting be for her? Watching her child being constantly moved across Australia. Nowhere safe to create a home for her children; no stability of schooling; friends; social engagement… we all want the best for our children, what if we can’t provide them with the basics for them to flourish? She hasn’t received the help that she’s needed before . We all need to get this right – it’s for the good of our society. It shouldn’t just be on her shoulders,” she said.

Wherever Joce has a cuppa this Mother’s Day she will be encouraging people to support women who can’t celebrate Mother’s Day with their families. She will be especially mindful of those women who have been killed in family violence.

“I know this is a sobering thought as we head into Mother’s Day, but the use of violence is a choice; it must be terrible to lose someone under those circumstances. The full spectrum of family violence is generally not well understood.”

Joce said the increase in reporting of family violence, meant that providing a safe place for women and children to escape to was more important than ever before. Services such as McAuley Community Services for Women are crucial in providing immediate assistance and giving women time to think through and plan their next steps in safety.

“I encourage others to use the High Tea Appeal to raise some money for McAuley Community Services for Women. We don’t care if it is a small amount or a large amount, just be part of our appeal.”

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