IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Mrs Australia Universe Joelle Webber is stepping up her campaign to educate the community about domestic violence.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Mrs Australia Universe Joelle Webber is stepping up her campaign to educate the community about domestic violence. Contributed

White ribbon warrior takes message to community

A year ago, the Angourie mother was preparing for her victorious Mrs Australia quest, qualifying her for the Mrs Universe in Belarus in August.

>> IT'S OFFICIAL: Angourie beauty Joelle Webber crowned Mrs Australia 2015

In between, she had to fight back from domestic violence, which put her in hospital and shattered her dreams.

"Three and a half weeks before I was due to fly to Belarus for Mrs Universe, I had just moved my husband out of home," Ms Webber said.

"I was very raw when it happened. The pageant people were really good when I told them what had happened and gave me time to prepare what I wanted to say."

It was the beginning of her campaign to be a warrior against domestic violence.

"In May, I will no longer be Mrs Australia Universe, but I will continue to campaign against domestic violence," Ms Webber said.

In the past few weeks she has become involved in the Domestic Violence is Foul Play campaign to encourage sporting groups to root out domestic violence in their organisations.

Rugby league identity and White Ribbon ambassador Dallas Waters, who is the Aboriginal Family Health co-ordinator for the Northern NSW Local Health District, organised the meetings to build awareness of the issue in sporting clubs.

Ms Webber said the amount of domestic violence and the way it was hidden from the public was frightening. "It happens to one out of three women in the community, and they're conservative figures.

"If you think about how many women live in your street and you keep those figures in mind, you start to think you might not really know what's going on in your community."



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