LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

WORRIED: One reader is concerned about safety aspects of platform two at the Ballarat Railway Station.

WORRIED: One reader is concerned about safety aspects of platform two at the Ballarat Railway Station.

Concerns about platform safety at railway station

PLATFORM number two at the Ballarat Railway Station is not used a lot. It is dangerous and should not be used at all.

It is significantly lower than platform one, so the step down from the train to the platform is much greater and the gap between the train and the platform is very dangerous for young children.

It is a disaster waiting to happen; if that has not already happened.

Up to now, I have confidently travelled alone between Ballarat and Melbourne even after recent operations and falls. When Southern Cross station was extended recently, I had help from Travellers Aid at Southern Cross with their buggy assistance program to enable me to get to a taxi and attend regular specialist appointments in Melbourne.

Coming home last Tuesday on the 2.17 pm, the train came in on platform two. I was horrified to realise I could not step off the train unaided. A tall kind passenger agreed to help me, but the step was so great that I still injured my left leg and right arm. If he had not been there, I would have fallen flat on my face.

The train was number 1213 and didn't seem different to the others. I spoke to the stationmaster. He said he was unaware of the difference in height. He said the trains have pull-out ramps and anyone needing them should advise the conductor.

I have doubts whether walking down a steep ramp on platform two would be safe for me either, but at least passengers should be advised of the problem in time to find the conductor.

- Gwendoline Blake, Ballarat

Indigenous staple diet destroyed by sheep

I ENJOYED reading Roger Thomas's article on the yam daisies in The Courier (November 11).

Not mentioned was that the first European settlers throughout Victoria brought sheep which ate the flowers and leaves of the yam daisy which destroyed the Aborigine's staple diet.

No wonder that sheep and shepherds were speared; a consequence that the first settlers were ignorant of, or didn't want to know.

- Oliver Guthrie, Alfredton

Reminder to call out everyday sexism

UNDERSTANDABLY, women and girls may be feeling a bit disheartened across Australia as 2016 draws to a close.

Hillary Clinton's shock defeat by Donald Trump in the USA presidential election hurt for many of us. It was also a shock reminder of the misogynistic behaviour our first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, was subjected to when she held Australia's top job.

Women face everyday sexism every day. In Australia, research by Plan International revealed just eight per cent of girls and young women feel they're always treated equally to boys. Only 14 per cent say they always receive the same opportunities to succeed as boys.

Following our event on how to tackle everyday sexism, participants, including government representatives, researchers, journalists and the online community outlined strategies we can all adopt, both men and women, to fight gender inequality: Check your language, don't say "you run like a girl". Instead of telling girls they look beautiful, tell them they're strong.

Call out everyday sexism, and stop laughing at sexist remarks.

Check your unconscious bias, there's no such thing as men's work or women's work, boys' or girls' chores. Value women for their personalities and intelligence, not just their looks. Celebrate women leaders, and encourage girls to dream big. Lead by example as children mirror our behaviour. It's our responsibility to ensure their generation leaves no glass ceilings intact.

- Clare Price, Plan International