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V-Day a hit for CASA

Briefs

Cite as: June 2013 87 (6) LIJ, p.19

Who knew Moira Raynor was such a talented actor? The former Equal Opportunity Commissioner shone in her star turn on stage at the Melbourne Town Hall for a benefit production of The Vagina Monologues.

The morning after the sell-out performances on 30 April, Ms Raynor, a self-described “show-off”, reflected that her one and only other acting role – as a neurotic teenage Cinderella – was at school in 1964.

“I’m committed to the ideas in the material. It also sounded like quite a challenge and I’m a sucker for a challenge,” Ms Raynor said.

“The idea of working with a bunch of lawyers in such a landmark piece struck me as a great one, and a terrific way to raise money for violence prevention programs, as well as to re-dip my toes in the water, nearly 50 years later.

“I laughed my head off at various places. We became quite imaginative as we developed confidence in saying unspeakable words and confronted ourselves and our audiences with uncomfortable realities.

“Frankly I don’t know how I could possibly improve on the joyful experience of participating in this ensemble piece but I am open to offers,” Ms Raynor said.

Ms Raynor, who is co-chair of the LIV’s workplace relations section, joined seven other women from Melbourne’s legal community in two performances of the famous piece of feminist theatre that was penned by New York playwright Eve Ensler.

County Court judge Liz Gaynor, barrister Hilary Bonney, ethicist Leslie Cannold, former Health Services Commissioner Beth Wilson, policy manager Helen McKelvie and lawyers Taboka Finn and Tanja Kovac made up the cast.

Ensler wrote the series of monologues after interviewing about 200 women.

What started as a celebration of femininity has become a movement to end violence against women and girls. In 1998, Ensler launched V-Day, a global non-profit campaign that has raised more than $75 million for women’s anti-violence groups through benefit performances.

In 2012, there were more than 5800 V-Day events around the world.

The Melbourne Town Hall performances, directed by Bridgette Burton and attended by almost 500 people, raised about $25,000.

The bulk will go to the Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) to be used for its sexual assault prevention program for secondary schools, and 10 per cent will go towards the V-Day Spotlight Campaign.

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