Dr Tanveer Ahmed’s article published in The Australian on 9 February 2015 and his subsequent comments are inconsistent with the message and focus of the White Ribbon Campaign. White Ribbon Australia appreciates the resulting deep concern of our supporters, including other White Ribbon Ambassadors.
As I have made clear, the views of Dr Ahmed do not reflect the views of White Ribbon Australia. In recognition of this and the need to assess his future involvement in the White Ribbon Campaign, Dr Ahmed has stepped down from his role as White Ribbon Ambassador.
White Ribbon Australia has followed the due process in place to deal with a formal complaint against an Ambassador. After publication of our statement regarding the articles by Dr Ahmed and Clementine Ford, we received a number of formal complaints that were then referred to the Board. The Board investigated and assessed these complaints. As a result Dr Ahmed agreed to step down from his role as White Ribbon Ambassador at 4PM yesterday.
We want to reiterate that this process relates to the content of his opinion piece and his subsequent comments.
Following his suspension as a White Ribbon Ambassador, Dr Ahmed can seek to participate in an Ambassador recommitment process to determine whether or not he will continue working with White Ribbon Australia. This process will be overseen by the White Ribbon Australia Board. Consistent with our operating procedure this will be thorough and fair and will not automatically result in his reinstatement as a White Ribbon Ambassador.
Dr Ahmed has advised us he will make a statement available on his website.
We also want to reassure our supporters that we are taking every step to ensure our 2200+ Ambassadors meet White Ribbon Australia and community expectations consistent with their responsibilities as a representative of White Ribbon Australia. Since 2014, all men nominating to become White Ribbon Ambassadors complete training, are interviewed and are subject to referee checks. In 2015 we will be further strengthening this by introducing an Ambassador recommitment process, which will help us determine the ongoing suitability of those who became White Ribbon Ambassadors pre-2014.
Thank you to our Ambassadors and supporters who stood by the campaign during this period. This matter has been a reminder to us all about the importance of their role. Ambassadors are pivotal to the prevention of men’s violence against women, working with the community to make Australia safer for women and their children.
Libby Davies, CEO