Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Women’s Gala Raises Domestic And Family Violence Awareness

May is Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Prevention Month and Jo Sainsbury from Kickass Women is helping to spread the 2023 theme of ‘it’s in our control to end coercive control’ through her upcoming Shades of Women fundraising gala event, supported by Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.

Held on Sat 27 May at Mantra Mackay, the annual event is an eye-opening showcase of the strength and resilience of women who have faced domestic violence and raises funds for Mackay Women’s Services to support women and children affected by domestic violence in the Mackay Region.

A local coal train driver and women’s activist, Jo has spent several years driving community change and is providing a safe platform to discuss the devastating and immeasurable impacts of DFV on women and children in our community.

“An important part of Shades of Women is providing education about the many faces of domestic and family violence,” she said. “It’s partly about knowing the signs, but also, it’s about building up self-worth and embracing courage, self-confidence, conviction, and strength.

“Shades of Women is created by women, for women. The event is an opportunity to highlight the current situation, hear from survivors who have re-built their lives, provide funds and resources to Mackay Women’s Services, and celebrate our female connections in a glamorous and supportive setting. It’s truly a night to remember.”

Funds raised from the event, and resources like Hope Bags and 24hr monitoring devices, will support Mackay Women’s Services in their mission to provide resources, crisis support, and counselling services to women and children faced with physical, psychological, sexual, coercive and/or financial violence.

Jo said that coercive behaviours came in all forms and meant that someone was overpowering another person and had created an environment of fear, intimidation, isolation and humiliation.

“Mackay Women’s Services is an invaluable lifeline for women seeking refuge, whether that’s immediate support or ongoing counselling as they rebuild their life… and confidence! Leaving a volatile situation takes immense courage and it’s the first few days and weeks that are the most critical for those women and children,” she said.

Jo invited all women from across the Mackay Region to join her at the 2023 Shades of Women for a night of glitz and glamour, fine dining, entertainment, unforgettable speakers, and an atmosphere of unity and support.

For more information about Shades of Women, please visit or the Kickass Women Facebook page.

WHAT: Shades of Women,

WHEN: Saturday 27 May, 4:30pm – 10:30pm

WHERE: Mantra Mackay

TICKETS: $165pp – single tickets or tables of 8 available

Includes a 2-course meal [main + dessert], wine, champagne, beer and soft drinks, lucky door prize, a silent auction, live music and dancing, and a line-up of inspiring speakers.


Kickass Women

Company of Women Luncheon

Women of Mackay recently gathered for the Company of Women luncheon hosted by Kickass Women.

“As always, we had incredible speakers, amazing company, and the topic of 'women's safety' sparked vital conversations within our community,” said Kickass Women Founder Jo Sainsbury.

Jo Sainsbury

Photos supplied: Kickass Women

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