Call for peaceful activism

February 23, 2024 BY

Making a difference: Judy Ryan will be in Ballarat next week to talk about how residents can become peaceful activists. Photo: SUPPLIED


ONE of the key campaigners behind Richmond’s medically supervised injecting room will be heading to Ballarat next Thursday with the aim of encouraging residents to become peaceful activists.

The talk by Judy Ryan will take place at Ballarat Community Health in Lucas from 5pm.

Ms Ryan’s goal is to show residents that they can do something about a problem.

“I tell my story as an accidental activist and then throw it open to the audience,” she said. “Is there an issue here and is there something you can do about it?

“People can become activists without marching up and down the street. It can be as easy as contacting your local politician. We can change the world just by doing that.”

Dr Adam Straub will also be in attendance talking about local drug and alcohol issues.

“I’m not saying Ballarat needs an injecting room, I just talk about drug addiction as a broad illness from a community perspective,” said Ms Ryan.

“We get attention about addiction issues in Melbourne, but country areas tend to be forgotten. I talk to communities about what’s going on and what they can do about it.”

Ms Ryan was inspired to begin her activism when in 2016 she found a young man collapsed outside her home in Melbourne.

“I didn’t see the people with addiction as junkies; I saw them as someone’s child or grandchild that needed some help,” she said.

“What would I want someone to do if they found my son collapsed at their back gate, walk over him or help him?”

Ms Ryan is originally from country Victoria and was awarded an OAM in 2022 for her services to community health.

She has also released a book called You Talk, We Die.

Ms Ryan’s talk is set for Thursday 29 February between 5pm and 7.30pm at 12 Lilburne Street in Lucas, and to book to attend the event visit trybooking.com/COSJT.