Media Releases

White Ribbon Schools Program wins top NAPCAN award

White Ribbon Australia are thrilled to have won a prestigious child protection award.  The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), announced the winners of the 2014 NAPCAN Play Your Part Awards for inspiring child protection initiatives. The announcements coincide with National Child Protection Week, were made at a special reception hosted by the Governor-General, at Admiralty House, Sydney on Friday 5th September.

The White Ribbon Breaking the Silence program is a unique professional development program for principals and teachers that provides them with the resources and strategies to embed models of respectful relationships in school culture and classroom activities. These strategies give students the opportunity to learn and experience respectful relationships, preventing the perpetration of violence against women and girls. Schools participating in Breaking the Silence become White Ribbon Schools.

“Breaking the Silence has been delivered to over 200 schools, reaching 110,000 students and their communities,” said White Ribbon CEO Libby Davies “It’s a sad reality that exposure to domestic violence increases children’s risk of mental health, behavioural and learning difficulties and is a recognised form of child abuse. This program helps to drive a culture of respect and reduce violence in schools and communities, increasing the wellbeing and safety of children and young people.”

“Principals tell us that Breaking the Silence has been successful because it reaches the community by taking a whole-of-school approach to promoting respectful relationships. It encompasses curriculum, teaching and learning, school organisation, ethos and environment and community/parent links and partnerships in in meaningful, age appropriate and culturally sensitive way,” said Ms. Davies “It’s the old saying it takes a village to raise a child, so we work to promote partnerships between schools, police and community services and families to focus on crime prevention and harm minimisation. ”

White Ribbon Australia invited former Principal Dale Palmer from Endeavour Sports High School and two students to attend the ceremony. Endeavour Sports High School participated in the pilot of Breaking the Silence in 2009.  On its journey to becoming a White Ribbon School, Endeavour Sports High School witnessed a significant cultural shift towards one of respect, safety and inclusiveness.

“White Ribbon is one of the most important programs we run at Endeavour Sports High School. It runs as a primary prevention model under the mantra of RESPECT. The White Ribbon ideology allows us to talk openly and honestly about topics such as domestic violence, sexual harassment and assault, resilience, self-image and the law. White Ribbon also allows us to run programs that make young people feel confident and good about themselves, as well as understanding their role in fostering a respectful society. Our school is proud to be a White Ribbon school.” Dale Palmer, White Ribbon Ambassador and former Principal of Endeavour Sports High School.
As a White Ribbon Ambassador and Champion for the Breaking the Silence Program, Dale embodies the values of White Ribbon in all that he does in both his school and broader community.  His leadership in driving a culture of respect has provided students, staff and parents alike with a voice to also become active agents of change in their community.

For media interviews contact Sally Burleigh: and 0419 516 889

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