Ballina woman committed to raising awareness about violence

MILLION STARS :Debbie McMahon and Joanna Wilkinson. Debbie will be teaching how to make the stars at the Ballina Fair shopping centre.
MILLION STARS :Debbie McMahon and Joanna Wilkinson. Debbie will be teaching how to make the stars at the Ballina Fair shopping centre. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

DEBBIE McMahon is on a mission to raise awareness about violence, one ribbon star at a time.

The Ballina local first heard about the 1 Million Stars to End Violence campaign from her sister who lives in Victoria.

"I got involved because I thought it was a worthwhile cause," she said.

"Sometimes I work with people who have been injured by domestic violence."

The aim of the international project, 1 Million Stars, is to create a "grand" display with ribbon stars raising awareness and hopefully putting an end to all forms of violence.

Since getting involved in the project in March, Ms McMahon said she has become the "collection point" for stars in Ballina.

She said several local organisations including the Ballina Ladies Rotary Club, Just Better Care, Ballina Fair, Ballina Battered Prawns Golden Oldies Rugby Wives and Bunjum Aboriginal Co-op had already got behind the project.

Ms McMahon said she hoped the project would shed light on domestic violence and violence in general.

"Awareness is probably the biggest thing," she said. "People need to be to talk about it and people need to know it's okay to leave."

The woven stars are supposed to be symbols of light, courage and solidarity to end all forms of violence, including violence against women.

The short term goal of the 1 Million Stars project is to weave one million stars and display them in Queensland in 2018.

The long term goal is to shed light on domestic violence and garner more government support for the issue.

The initiative was first started by Victorian woman Maryann Talia Pau following the highly publicised rape and murder of young ABC staffer Jill Meagher in Brunswick.

Ms Talia Pau said she wanted to "make sense" of the grief, anger and loss that had hit the Brunswick community so hard.

For more information, go to


Make a star workshops

Learn to make a star at Ballina Fair outside Target from 10am to 12pm on the following dates:

  • May 6
  • May 20
  • June 3
  • July 1

Topics:  domestic violence terrorathome

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