Updated: Oct 5, 2019
Grief and Loss is something we will all experience, it could be a loss of a job, a relationship, finances and eventually for us all, end of life. They say, grief doesn't really leave when we mourn, but life does eventually grow around it.
Now try understanding how you would feel if your Dad murdered your beloved Mother?
For those who work within the Domestic and Family Violence sector we know her story. Amani Haydar is a talented artist, an Archibald Finalist in fact. She's also a skilled lawyer, an insurance litigator.
After her father murdered her mother in front of her younger sibling whilst Amani was 5 months pregnant with her first child, the law and court rooms lost their magic for Amani and she rediscovered her spirituality and self through art.
What helped her heal has now become an advocacy and storytelling tool that she uses with impact to reclaim her voice.
But what you don't know is: four and half years after her Mum's murder, (her father has been gaoled for 16 years), Amani and her siblings are still struggling to settle her mother's estate.
Yes, once again we are talking about financial abuse that in this instance is systemic, no one seems able to sort it out.
"My Dad is still on the title of my own home and I can't get him off. The Commonwealth Bank still requires his signature for paperwork and transactions."
Amani says, "It's exhausting having to wait on the phone for ages to speak to someone and then repeat over and over the story of my Mum's murder and our families interwoven finances. What makes it worse, is people at the other end of the phone simply don't know what to say."
Domestic and Family Violence is not linear, one size solutions by the finance sector do not fit all. The Finance Sector needs Rapid Response teams for Domestic and Family Violence Victims/Survivors, to help people solve complex issues imposed upon them in order to move towards financial safety.
We are thrilled that Amani will exhibit her work at CXBank$ in our virtual self care lounge. She will join film maker Bridget Ninness who will screen short films on self care exclusive to CXBank$
CXBank$ is an ONLINE webinar style gathering being broadcast on October 10, World Mental Health Day. The event comprises of 3 expert panels discussing the intersection of Domestic and Family Violence, Financial Abuse and Mental Health, a virtual exhibition hall where you can interact with speakers via online chat capability and a self care lounge showcasing Amani's art and Bridget's short films. Tickets are free and you can get yours at CXbanks.com
BIO: AMANI HAYDAR
Amani Haydar is a lawyer, artist, writer and mum based in Western Sydney. Amani Haydar lost her mum, Salwa Haydar, to domestic violence in March 2015. Amani’s father was convicted for the murder in 2017. Since then Amani has gone on to use her legal background and creative skills to advocate for the health, safety and wellbeing of women.
A large portion of Amani’s advocacy takes place on a volunteer basis and focuses on building access to justice and equality for women who face structural barriers. Amani has served as an executive board member at Bankstown Women’s Health Centre since late 2017 contributing to the governance and direction of the organisation which provides essential supports to local women, including counselling and casework for survivors of abuse.
Using storytelling and personal experience, Amani encourages the public to think critically about gender-based violence and respond compassionately to victims and survivors. In 2018, Amani was selected as a finalist in the Archibald Prize, for her self-portrait Insert Headline Here which tells the story of three generations of women in Amani’s family.
Amani’s has delivered talks and workshops to young people, professionals, frontline workers and community groups about violence against women.
Amani’s writing and illustrations about violence and abuse, with a focus on the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse women, have been featured in SBS Voices and ABC News. Amani is also a artist with Sweatshop Western Sydney and a contributor to the Arab Australian Other anthology published by Picador in 2019. In August 2019, Amani launched an exhibition at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery which delves further into themes of intergenerational trauma and the effects of displacement and violence on women’s lives. Amani was recently awarded Law Society of NSW Just Art Artist’s Choice Award for a series of artworks about gender-based violence.