News & Media > Editorials > 2023 Dominion Animal Rights March

2023 Dominion Animal Rights March

By Harley McDonald-Eckersall
Tue 25 April 2023, 1:07pm

On 8th April, 2023, hundreds of animal rights activists and vegans gathered in Melbourne to protest the use of animals for food, clothing, entertainment and research and to promote Farm Transparency Project’s documentary Dominion on the five-year anniversary of its release.

Despite cloudy skies and intermittent rain, we gathered at the State Library Victoria at 4pm, sheltering under marquees as we set up sound equipment and began to prepare for the evening. As people started arriving in greater numbers, they took advantage of breaks in the rain to display signs and footage which told the story of why we were there; to rally for all animals and unite for a kinder world.

Our meeting spot was also the stage for the first ever performance of the Dominion band who started the event with a set of songs comprising both originals and music that had been significant to the animal rights movement, and to Farm Transparency Project, over the years. Having met for the first time less than two months prior, they performed for the first time publicly at the march, setting the tone for a powerful and unforgettable night. 


While at the state library, we also heard from our first speakers, beginning with a group speech where investigators, animal rescuers and activists spoke of their experiences standing up for animal rights. FTP's founding director, and writer and director of Dominion, Chris Delforce, also spoke about the 12 years he has spent exposing animal abuse, and the lengths he has gone to in attempts to force transparency on an industry built on secrecy and lies. 


After the music and speeches, the march began, moving onto Swanston Street and heading south. Led by a banner reading ‘Make Animal Abuse Illegal,’ we made our way down Melbourne’s main road until we reached Bourke Street. Here we heard from musician Amber, who had traveled all the way from New York to attend the march, before powerful speeches from Georgie Purcell, Emma Hakansson and Kristy Alger. 




We occupied Bourke Street Mall for over 30 minutes, then marched through the city, past the iconic Flinders Street Station and into Federation Square, where we heard from our final speaker, FTP's campaigns director Harley McDonald-Eckersall. 



This was the first Animal Rights March held in Melbourne in 4 years, and it would not have been possible without a number of dedicated volunteers. We’d like to thank the following people who made it possible:


Casey Martin - our tireless and dedicated sound coordinator who came on board as a musician and ended up ensuring the whole march functioned, even in the rain

Duncan Stephens - who came on board as a sound technician and did an incredible job making the musicians and speakers sound amazing.

Ayelen Gallardo - who designed the placards and banners for the march, as well as the promotional material

Tom from TD Events - an amazing photographer and friend who volunteered his time to capture so many incredible moments and make his images available to us. 

Our incredible musicians - Casey, Mikey, Lis, Steph, Tebs and Amber

Our team of videographers and photographers, with a special thanks to Neth who made sure all the speeches were captured in incredible quality

The team at Empower media for working with us to organise the screen truck which drove around Melbourne promoting Dominion during the march 

Our volunteer leads - Alicia, Naomi, Helen, Brittany, Laura, Jess, Gayle, Roseanna, Cat, Siena and Nikki, who took on the extra responsibility of coordinating their teams, took the time to familiarise themselves with the route and led teams of people on the day. 

Our incredible volunteers, too many to list by name, who signed up to help out, attended briefings and arrived early to set up and make the march a success

Our group speakers - Maddy, Arrabella, Nina, Leah, Mo, Siena, Cat, Harley, Chris and Megan, who bravely shared their experiences with the crowd, many for the first time

Our speakers - Chris, Georgie, Emma, Kristy and Harley for their powerful words and dedication to ending animal exploitation

Every person who attended, invited their friends, shared the march, supported the crowdfunder and helped us make the night a success. 


Together we are unstoppable

Harley McDonald-Eckersall

Harley McDonald-Eckersall is an activist, ally and anti-speciesist. With a focus on Animal Justice, Harley was the former co-founder of Young Voices for Animals before moving to the UK to work for Animal Rebellion. Back in Melbourne, she now works for Farm Transparency Project as the Strategy & Campaigns Director. Harley has also been involved with many other groups in Melbourne and was part of the April 8th Flinders Street Shut-down, organised by Vegan Rising as part of the Dominion Anniversary actions which were co-organised by Dominion Movement and Vegan Rising. To read more of Harley’s writing visit her blog at