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The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Rio Tinto achieve accreditation in world-leading workplace cultural change program

White Ribbon Australia will present the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Rio Tinto with their White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation, recognising the significant change both organisations have made through their participation in the 18-month whole of organisation culture change with the White Ribbon Workplace Program.

This brings the total number of White Ribbon Accredited Workplaces to 165, reaching over 600,000 Australians in their workplace to create safer and more respectful workplace for all employees.

The accreditation presented by White Ribbon Australia CEO, Libby Davies, to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Secretary, Dr Martin Parkinson, in Canberra on Thursday will be followed by a ceremony in Brisbane on Friday marking Rio Tinto’s achievement where Rio Tinto Growth and Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh, who has led the company’s work with White Ribbon, will be presented with its Workplace Program Accreditation.

“Over the past eighteen months, both organisations demonstrated impressive leadership and a commitment to whole of organisation culture change,” said White Ribbon Australia CEO, Libby Davies.

“They have satisfied 15 assessment criteria under three separate standards. They have demonstrated effective leadership, resource allocation, communication, HR policy development and training, to create safer and more respectful workplaces. They have delivered training to managers and staff on what it means to work in a safe and respectful workplace.”

The Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Martin Parkinson, welcomed the accreditation as an important acknowledgement of the commitment demonstrated by staff across the department in supporting their colleagues impacted by domestic and family violence.

“This accreditation does not come easily, and that’s because it comes with great responsibility. For far too long workplaces across Australia have taken the view that domestic violence is ‘not their business.’

But supporting the elimination of violence is our business and I’m proud that at PM&C we are taking this issue so seriously.”

As head of the Australian Public Service, I consider it critical that we do our bit, alongside the broader Australian community, to stand up, speak out and act to prevent domestic and family violence in all its forms,” Dr Parkinson said.

Managing Director Australia Rio Tinto, Joanne Farrell, said: “We are proud to be the first global mining company in Australia to complete this accreditation program. We made a policy decision to change the culture of the company, and achieving accreditation is a significant outcome for our Australian workforce and leadership team. Violence against women and men is completely unacceptable – we are committed to the role that our company and employees can play by leading by example.”

“We condemn violence against women and we are committed to supporting our people who are impacted by such violence and ensuring our workplaces are respectful, inclusive and have the framework to support every employee. We are pleased to share today’s achievement with The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and look forward to sharing our progress as we strive towards common goals related to this important issue,” Ms Farrell said.

Rio Tinto and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet are now officially recognised by White Ribbon Australia as pioneers contributing to national cultural change to prevent and respond to violence against women and strengthen gender equality, joining the eighth group of White Ribbon Workplaces to be awarded a three-year accreditation.

“We congratulate these workplaces on their extraordinary effort and dedication,” added Libby Davies.

“Workplace Accreditation gives employers across all sectors the means to create and sustain a working environment based on equality and mutual respect. The benefits of standing up and speaking out about men’s violence against women extend beyond the immediate office environment.

“We acknowledge the vital role workplaces play in creating change within the broader community. 94 per cent of employees agree that employers should take a leadership role in educating their workplace about respectful relationships between men and women.”

White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation is for a three-year duration during which time organisations must provide evidence of an ongoing, sustainable commitment to the prevention of violence against women and promotion of gender equality.

Media contact:

White Ribbon Australia – Irina Kamychnikova on 0426 221 550 OR Jenny Muir on 0415 401 200

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – PM&C media on 02 6271 6039

Rio Tinto Australia –  Rachel Thompson on 0419 906 257

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