White Ribbon Australia Celebrates Indian Independence Day
15 August marks Indian Independence Day. This year, White Ribbon is proud to share in the celebrations with the Council of Indian Australians who are holding a Dinner Function in Blacktown, NSW, on Friday 14 August.
Many of our supporters are Indian Australians. Dr Manjula O’Connor is one. As well as being a White Ribbon Advocate, Manjula is a member of our recently formed Diversity Program Reference Group.
Manjula has been a psychiatrist for over three decades and is a passionate advocate for gender equality, domestic violence awareness and victim support both locally and abroad. In 2009, Manjula undertook a Mental Health Leadership Course and joined the Australia India Society of Victoria, setting up a ‘taskforce against domestic violence in Indian and ethnic communities’.
In 2010, the Immigrant Women’s Domestic Violence Service nominated Manjula as a White Ribbon Advocate, laying the foundation for what has since become a strong and valued relationship with White Ribbon Australia.
Manjula co-founded the Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health (ACHRH) in 2012 with the goal to promote gender equality, family harmony, the rights of new migrants and victim support. Studies Manjula has conducted as Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne have aimed to understand the cultural aspects of domestic violence in Indian communities.
Manjula believes that culturally and linguistically diverse men can play a major role in ensuring the safety of women and that the primary message of White Ribbon – that men must lead the fight against men’s violence against women – can work for the Indian community.
Manjula is currently designing a theatre project named ‘Natakvihar’ which means theatre space in Sanskrit. The project is aimed at developing accurate and acceptable interventions with the support of Indian men, academics and many community organisations. She hopes to include teenage boys, young men and seniors so that their shared knowledge can be applied to create tools to lead social change.
For media interviews contact Sally Burleigh: Sally@sbpr.com.au and 0419 516 889