Newcastle maritime, construction workers join forces to support Hunter Women’s Centre

Local maritime and construction workers have joined forces to raise more than $10,000 to support the vital work of the Hunter Women’s Centre during the challenging Christmas period.

Representatives of both the Maritime Union of Australia Division Newcastle Branch and NSW Construction Division of the newly-merged Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union have delivered 40 immediate care packs designed to assist women and children fleeing family violence during the holiday period, along with a $10,000 cash donation to assist with ongoing support programs.

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The fundraising initiative to support the work of the Hunter Women’s Centre was started by the MUA Newcastle Youth Committee, with construction workers this year joining forces to increase the support that can be provided to local women facing family violence.

“While most people think of Christmas as a happy time, for too many families it’s a time of violence and abuse,” MUA Newcastle Youth Committee member and fundraiser organiser Steven Murray said.

“This is actually a really busy time for vital support services like the Hunter Women’s Centre, which is why we wanted to get behind them and offer practical assistance to help them help local families in need.

“Rather than just donate money, we have worked with the HWC to develop these immediate care packs that contain a whole range of essential everyday items that women and children need when they have just fled from domestic violence.”

CFMEU organiser Brendan Holl said local construction workers were excited to support the initiative.

“When our members heard what was being organised, and the essential work the Hunter Women’s Centre does for our community, they were thrilled to be part of the fundraising effort,” Mr Holl said.

“While Christmas is a great time of year for most of us, for those facing violence and abuse in the home it can be a particularly challenging period.

“Our members want to make sure they share the Christmas spirit and help out in some small way the women and children in our community who are doing it tough.”

MUA Newcastle Branch Secretary Glen Williams said this fundraising initiative was a great example of what unions are all about.

“Unions are about working people sticking together to care for each other through tough times and strengthen our future by working together,” Mr Williams said.

“I’m really proud of our members — particularly the Newcastle Youth Committee — for spearheading this effort to help local women and children facing the scourge of family violence.”

Media contacts: Steven Murray (MUA) 0427 379 088 and Brendan Holl (CFMEU) 0400 959 002