Council’s annual White Ribbon Walk on 22 November will this year be led by a powerful and inspiring advocate for gender equality, refugee rights and human rights.
Fadak Alfayadh is a dynamic Melbourne-based community lawyer, writer and advocate, who has spoken across the country and internationally on topics including gender equality, refugees and asylum seekers, migrants and immigration, diversity, identity and belonging, and feminist issues.
She’s attracted widespread publicity and praise for her Meet Fadak speaking tour, in which she highlights Australia’s strength in diversity and the need to change the story about refugees as most people have heard it.
Now 27, Fadak had a tougher start than many in Australia, arriving in the country as a 10-year-old refugee after her family fled the 2003 Iraqi invasion.
She’s since built a career as a community lawyer and passionate advocate, working to uphold human rights and ensure access to legal services for marginalised people.
Her work and advocacy has seen her appear extensively in the national media, featured on the ABC, Al Jazeera, VICE Au, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Catalogue Magazine, RightNow, The Citizen and SBS.
In her capacity as a community lawyer, Fadak has fought for the rights of marginalised communities and people who weren’t able to afford or secure legal justice, including women experiencing family violence, youth, the elderly, people with mental illness, Indigenous communities, newly-arrived communities and the unemployed.
She’s also previously worked on the creation and implementation of a strategy to prevent all forms of violence against women in Melbourne, making her more than familiar with the aims of White Ribbon and the issues behind men’s violence against women.
Council’s White Ribbon Committee Chair and White Ribbon Advocate Mandy Whelan said Fadak would be a powerful voice to start this year’s White Ribbon Walk.
“Fadak’s own life story is so inspiring, but it’s the impact she’s had on the lives of the people and groups that she’s managed to help through her numerous advocacy and public speaking roles that is equally impressive,” Ms Whelan said.
“Based on her previous involvement in the push to stop men’s violence against women in Melbourne, and her work in a myriad of advocacy roles, I can’t think of a better person to help get the White Ribbon message across to our broader community.”
Council’s annual White Ribbon Walk, which coincides with national White Ribbon Day, will take place on Friday 22 November, starting at midday in the Langtree Mall.
Fadak will speak at the start of the walk, before leading the hundreds of residents once again expected to take to Mildura’s CBD to raise awareness about White Ribbon and men’s violence against women.
The walk will take participants from the centre of the Langtree Mall, along Langtree Avenue to Seventh Street and down the Langtree Avenue connection.
It will then make its way to the Mildura riverfront lawns where there will be information stalls and displays from key local service providers involved in dealing with and preventing men’s violence against women.
The event will conclude with a free community barbecue.