News | 18 January 2024
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Paving the way for sexual violence prevention in Pōneke

With the development of a new Sexual Violence Prevention Roadmap and Action Plan, Wellington City Council is leading the charge with sexual violence prevention.

Woman wearing a bright pink top and rainbow pants, standing and smiling at the camera.
Wellington City Council's new Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor, Tallulah Cardno.

This plan was developed by the Sexual Violence Prevention Lead Jahla Lawrence, who joined the Council two years ago after she spear-headed a 500-people strong rally against sexual violence and was contracted on to help Council deliver the work. 

ACC, the lead provider of sexual violence prevention in Aotearoa, saw what has been accomplished over the past two years and offered up a new fully funded role dedicated to helping support community-led violence prevention efforts. Wellington City Council is one of three partners across Aotearoa; alongside a partner in South Auckland and a partner in Te Tau Ihu (top of the South Island), and Council.

Enter, Tallulah Cardno, a self-procclaimed 'professional feminist’ who has recently started as Wellington City Council’s new Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor, thanks to ACC.

Tallulah has been involved in her community for a long time, having attended youth spaces as a young person and identified with prevention messages she heard in university. 

She initially began work at Rape Prevention Education in Auckland, which developed into a passion for working a space where she got to talk about healthy relationships and consent. 

She then moved on to Red Cross as one of their Youth Engagement Advisors, working with young people and focusing on bringing inclusivity, safety and accessibility to everyone.  

“I left my previous job at New Zealand Red Cross to have a baby, and I wasn’t planning on coming back to work any time soon, but then I saw this role being advertised and as soon as I saw the job description, I knew there was no way I couldn’t apply. If I didn’t apply for this role, I would regret it for the rest of my life.” 

Tallulah explains how there’s a running joke amongst her friends that she is a professional feminist, since she’s been so passionate from a young age about ensuring that all communities, particularly those often unrepresented, are included. 

“I was always known in my social circles as ‘the feminist’, asking you know, are we being respectful of people? And now I’m a professional feminist.”

She has been using her previous experiences to help aide her new role at Council, which aims to deliver on key pieces of work from Te Aorerekura (the national strategy) that will eliminate family and sexual violence.

“It’s essentially focused on community mobilisation and looking at what is happening in community spaces from a prevention lens, and how can we build on them or bridge any gaps.”

Right now, Tallulah is focusing on sexual harm in the student community and the upcoming university Orientation Weeks, and she is looking forward to shining a light on hidden prevention efforts throughout our community. 

“There are so many actions that small groups can take to prevent sexual violence. We as a big organisation get to front this. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that can be done by the very passionate few alone, so having these roles is something that I think all councils should have. 

"Council has quite a radical approach in the way we’re working, and I’m excited to work with smaller organisations who may not necessarily think they’re doing sexual violence prevention work, but they are, we can identify and amplify them. In the end, I want my city to be safe from sexual violence.”

Read the Roadmap and Action Plan

The sexual violence prevention action plan was developed as part of the Pōneke Promise, a coordinated, community driven initiative to keep our city safe.