PHOTOS | Thousands take part in inaugural White Ribbon Walk

Dozens of white balloons lined Cronulla streets today to mark the inaugural Sutherland Shire White Ribbon Walk.

More than a thousand people followed the route from Woolooware High School to Dunningham Park to mark the day; many of them local school students.

There were messages read out in memory of Tina Kontozis who was killed in her Bundeena home in April. Her former partner has since been charged.

Tina’s brother Jim and son Daniel were special guests on the day.

Jim Kontozis said he was overwhelmed with the support.

‘’I think it’s about time the community takes a stand against domestic violence,’’ he said.

‘’Unless we get involved then we can’t progress.’’

He said his sister would have loved the event.

‘’She was involved in all this before it became so popular,’’ he said.

‘’She would open her home to women and mothers and children who were getting away from domestic violence. That’s just the way she was.

‘’She was such a positive person.We’re very proud of her.’’

Tina Fitzgerald from Sutherland Shire Family Services said domestic violence was still underreported.

‘’We know that on average one woman a day is murdered in Australia by a partner or a former partner. We know that’s just not ok,’’ she said.

‘’This year so far in NSW alone we have had 32 homicides related to domestic violence.

‘’We know that from our local domestic violence court support that they are getting roughly around 100 calls per week. That’s just in Sutherland and St George.

‘’So if that’s underreported what does that tells us about what’s happening in our community. It’s just way too high.’’

The walk originated at Woolooware High School two years ago but this year grew to incorporate other schools and the community.

Organiser Kelly Donaghy from Miranda Police said she was thrilled with the turnout.

‘’It was great to have so many people come along; especially young people,’’ she said.

‘’If you’re going to educate people about domestic violence then it needs to start at the grassroots level which is kids.’’

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