COUNCIL has dedicated the railing on the veranda of the Armidale Folk Museum to supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
At Monday’s extraordinary meeting of Armidale Dumaresq Council, Mayor Herman Beyersdorf announced the site had been offered for use by the Loud Fence group.
The group, which is active throughout Australia, had approached Council to designate a city fence to tie ribbons on as a visible show of support for childhood sexual abuse victims.
“Council is happy to allow the fence on the Folk Museum on Faulkner Street [to be used],” Cr Beyersdof said.
“It’s on the road and on the footpath, I think it’s an appropriate place.”
Debbie O’Brien, who was one of several organisers behind the push for the fence, said the outcome was good news for the group.
“It’s got great visibility and Loud Fence is about restoring voices,” Ms O’Brien said.
“It’s to start a conversation in the community.
“Things have changed – there’s no more silence.”
The fence will be set aside for the display for a period of six months.
Ms O’Brien said a launch of the display would be held in the coming weeks.
“We will be organising a launch during the school holidays,” she said.
“We’ve had victims call and wanting to be part of it.
“We’ve yet to make the day but it will be soon – we’ll be meeting over the next few days.” Councillor Jim Maher originally approached Council about the issue after members of the group came to him with the idea.
He said it was important for Council to support the movement.
“This is just a way of Council being the spokesperson for the community,” Cr Maher said.
“I thank the councillors for supporting it.
“It’s just a tragedy all round.”
Cr Maher said there was some discussion about the location for the fence, with the old Court House being touted as a possibility.
“There is great symbolism in that,” he said.
“[But] it’s not our building, it would have been a bit of a drawn-out process.”
He said the Folk Museum was the right choice for the display.
“It’s in a high visibility area and that was one of the main criteria,” he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.