The power of pos­i­tiv­ity

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - By DENISE S. CAHILL

MOS­MAN Park res­i­dent Re­becca Tol­stoy spent June tour­ing the US pro­mot­ing the pos­i­tive out­comes from the Path of Hope Foun­da­tion, with help from the Perth Con­ven­tion Bureau As­pire Pro­gram.

Ms Tol­stoy, who founded the not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that helps women and chil­dren af­fected by do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and hu­man traf­fick­ing in 2008, had her bags packed for a whirl­wind three-week tour when she won the $10,000 City of Perth Con­ven­tion Schol­ar­ship on June 1.

While the tour was locked in thanks to fi­nan­cial sup­port from Ro­tary Club of Perth mem­bers Alan and Marisa Tribe and David and Ju­dith Reed, the schol­ar­ship en­sured she could com­plete the whole tour.

Start­ing in At­lanta at the Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional Pres­i­den­tial Peace Con­fer­ence, Ms Tol­stoy heard from Martin Luther King’s daugh­ter, for­mer US Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter, Bill Gates and Ash­ton Kutcher, who talked about the link be­tween fam­ily do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and hu­man traf­fick­ing.

The mother-of-one then spent time in New York and Swe­den with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ro­tary and the Sal­va­tion Army as well as UN Geneva Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Michael Moller.

Ms Tol­stoy plans to host a 12,000-per­son con­ven­tion on fam­ily do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and hu­man traf­fick­ing in Perth in 2019 with pre­sen­ta­tions from Ro­tary, Sal­va­tion Army, the United Na­tions, non-govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions and gov­ern­ments.

She hopes to at­tract Mr Carter and sur­vivors of fam­ily do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and hu­man traf­fick­ing as guest speakers.

Ms Tol­stoy said the Path of Hope model worked be­cause it was a grass­roots pro­gram that fo­cused on tran­si­tion­ing vic­tims, en­sur­ing they did not re­turn to old pat­terns.

“Aus­tralia is do­ing an amaz­ing job in this area and that’s some­thing I’m re­ally proud of,” she said.

Path of Hope will host its Cin­derella Gala Ball on July 29 at Crown Perth.

For tick­ets, visit www.pathofhope.org.au.

Ash­ton Kutcher, Bill Gates and John Cena at the Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence.

Re­becca Tol­stoy with Ro­tar­ian Jur­gen Baumhoff and UN Geneva Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Michael Moller.

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