White Ribbon welcomes Australian Labor’s significant policy announcement about the reproductive and sexual health of Australian women.
White Ribbon CEO Delia Donovan responded to today’s announcement, “This is a historic moment for the advancement of women’s reproductive health in Australia with the first National Sexual & Reproductive Health Strategy being carefully considered and announced by the Australian Labor.”
“A woman’s right to access safe and affordable healthcare for all of their sexual and reproductive health requirements should not be impeded by location, legislation, cost or social attitudes.
“The health system at all levels should be equipped to provide a range of necessary healthcare options for every woman’s needs and choices.
“Decriminalisation of reproductive choices women make in NSW and other jurisdictions who still have legislative or structural resource barriers in place should be the priority of Federal and State and Territory governments.
“We would encourage all political parties in Australia to support this initiative and every woman’s right to seek the health treatment that they choose,” said Ms Donovan.
New CEO Delia Donovan will empower White Ribbon’s community
Today, White Ribbon Australia Chair, John Rosewarne, proudly announced the appointment of Delia Donovan as the new CEO of White Ribbon Australia. Ms Donovan has been Acting CEO for the past four months.
Mr Rosewarne said the Board of Directors is delighted to formally appoint Ms Donovan. “Over the past four months Delia has demonstrated her capability to lead our national organisation, building consensus with key stakeholders, and resetting the organisation for a vibrant future. We are confident that her expertise and leadership gained across the social care sector in Australia and the UK will springboard a new era for White Ribbon Australia,” said Mr Rosewarne.
Ms Donovan has outlined her key strategic priorities. “I am determined to focus on the unique role White Ribbon has to play in addressing the root causes of men’s violence against women, using a collaborative approach with communities around the country,” said Ms Donovan.
“White Ribbon Australia has a crucial role to play in sustaining the social change Australia needs and seeks. We firmly believe that investing in behavioural change of this magnitude needs courage, tenacity and a willingness to work in difficult spaces. We will focus on working collaboratively, using our evidence-based primary prevention programs and our large community reach to address this national emergency.”
Ms Donovan said she was also focused on the work needed to address the challenges the organisation has faced over the past few months. “I’ve looked very closely at the way the organisation has been operating and we have learned and made immediate changes and commitments. We have taken important steps to address current financial challenges to ensure we maintain our movement and rebuild trust with the community,” said Ms Donovan.
“Over the coming months we will be refining the roles and purpose of our network of Ambassadors, Advocates, supporters and community leaders who are passionate about leading and delivering transformational change across Australia. We are determined to continue to hold ourselves to account and invest in strong cooperative, transparent leadership and participation in each community.
“While closely working with government, sector partners and our supporters, the Board and the leadership team will continue the renewal and refocus of White Ribbon’s strategic planning and governance. These adjustments will underpin our commitment to our partners, stakeholders and to our new global sector stakeholders.”
Ms Donovan brings with her extensive experience in non-government and social services settings in Australia and the United Kingdom, drawing on 15 years in frontline social work and social care management roles including her last role as CEO of a local domestic abuse charity supporting 6000 clients year on year. Prior to being promoted to Acting CEO Ms Donovan was Director of Community & Programs, and played a key role in the development and implementation of White Ribbon’s successful schools, workplaces, and community prevention programs.
The following is a video message from new CEO Delia Donovan, talking about her vision for White Ribbon Australia’s future and her strategic priorities moving forwards.
This decision by the National Rugby League (NRL) shows its commitment to zero tolerance for any kind of abuse, disrespect and violence against women.
NRL players are widely admired by their loyal fans from all walks of life and with that comes a responsibility to lead by example by demonstrating equality and respect on and off the field.
White Ribbon’s Senior Manager, Sports Engagement, Liam Dooley, said the NRL’s move echoes White Ribbon’s determination that there must be zero tolerance for men’s violence against women.
“This is an important step not just for the great game of rugby league but for the broader community. It’s great to see the NRL listen to community and take on board their feedback in making this decision. We look forward to working collaboratively with the NRL into the future,” Mr Dooley said.
Mr Dooley said that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence by someone they know.
“We must educate and empower Australian men and boys, to understand and embody equality, to be able to identify, stand up, speak out and act against all forms of men’s violence against women.”
“Australian women have the right to feel safe at all times, no matter where they are. This most recent tragedy sheds light on the fact that men’s violence against women in Australia hasn’t gone away yet,” said Liam Dooley, Executive Manager of the Communities at White Ribbon.
“It’s time for us all to take this issue more seriously. We are starting to see key changes in the attitudes of more and more men across Australia, but we need more.”
Men’s violence against women is unacceptable and we must act together as a community to end all forms of gender-based violence and abuse in our community.
We urge Australians to stand up, speak out and act to end all forms of men’s violence against women.
For anyone needing support please phone 1800RESPECT for sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling – 1800737 732
For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14
If you are in danger, please call the Police – 000
This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is observed globally in more than 100 countries annually on 8 March. IWD connects all women and inspires them to achieve their full potential.
The Charter of the United Nations was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental human right. On this day we commemorate the struggle for women’s rights throughout history, and celebrate the achievements and contributions of women to society.
The NSW Division of the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA NSW) and White Ribbon Australia have formed a unique partnership and are inviting their friends and supporters to a high profile event on Wednesday evening 6 March to celebrate IWD 2019 and reflect on progress towards achieving gender equality in Australian society.
Please join us for this exciting event to celebrate International Women’s Day!
A panel of distinguished speakers and panellists – leaders, role models and mentors – will reflect on the ways in which women and men from diverse cultural and social backgrounds can work together towards achieving gender equality in Australia.
The IWD “More Powerful Together” panel discussion commences at 6.00 pm at the Ground Floor Reception Area, Tower 1, Barangaroo, 100 Barangaroo Avenue (near the Wynyard railway station). We look forward to meeting you – refreshments provided.
White Ribbon Australia is, and always has been, a grassroots movement which focuses on addressing the root causes of men’s violence against women.
To achieve this objective, White Ribbon works collaboratively with partners and community leaders to empower and educate Australian men and boys, to understand and embody equality, and to identify and be able to stand up, speak out and act against all forms of men’s violence against women.
White Ribbon has achieved this through the ongoing financial support of individuals, community groups and corporate partners who are committed to achieving this objective in their community.
Beyond specific funding for a few projects, White Ribbon has not been funded by significant government investment, and yet White Ribbon’s leadership as a primary prevention organisation has been an integral part of the unified national approach to ending men’s violence against women.
White Ribbon is currently calling on the Federal Government to invest in White Ribbon Australia so that the Government’s national prevention objectives outlined in the Fourth Action Plan can be realised.
“We are at a turning point in our organisation’s journey and we have faced financial challenges over the past year which is reflected in our current financial report. This report is retrospective, and does not reflect the future viability and integrity of our organisation, or the contributions which our programs make across the broader community,” said White Ribbon Australia Chair, John Rosewarne.
White Ribbon has recently made necessary changes to its organisational structure so that it remains financially sustainable. We have a solid cashflow position and will work closely with our partners, governments and supporters to ensure that we have core organisational funding to underpin our highly regarded programs and the communities they support.
“Men’s violence against women is at the heart of many of the injustices and social inequalities that tear at the very fabric of our communities. Without prevention programs and the level of engagement that White Ribbon is committed to maintaining and growing, the objective of ending men’s violence will not be achieved,” concluded Mr Rosewarne.
White Ribbon will continue to play a leading role in ending men’s violence against women, working side-by-side with other national, state and local groups.
The real numbers tell a compelling story.
The internationally-recognised White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program supports 192 organisations in Australia who have more than 600,000 employees.
Of these, 10 Federal and 76 State and Territory government entities are Accredited.
In schools, the Breaking the Silence program has supported more than 370,000 young people and their school communities across the country.
The White Ribbon community is led by 21 White Ribbon Committees across our communities, who connect with 16,000 strong volunteers and more than 1,000 Advocates and Ambassadors who stand up in communities every day and inspire change through action.
The Purple Bench project was undertaken by the Wheatbelt Youth Council (WYC) in partnership with the WA White Ribbon Committee and the WA Women’s Council in 2018.
The initiative was first launched in Nova Scotia, Canada, and saw the placement of purple benches in public parks to mark the 25th anniversary of the murder of Barbra Baillie by her husband in 1990. Known as Barb’s Benches, these memorials serve to honour the memory of women murdered by their partners and provide information for people experiencing domestic and family violence.
In WA, this awareness raising project was launched by the WA Women’s Council, but was driven by a collaboration with WYCs in Bruce Rock, Merredin, Narembeen, Mukinbudin, Nungarin, Quairading, Bencubbin, Trayning, Kununoppin and Yelbeni. Working with local Shire Councils, community groups and businesses the WYCs took the responsibility to make the benches happen, including raising funds, agreeing on where they should be placed and making the benches ready for installation. In many instances this involved partnerships with local Men’s Sheds, businesses and community groups. As a result, the benches are proudly community owned.
The initiative has been important in encouraging conversations about the issue of violence against women in rural and regional communities, and has highlighted the leading role young people can play in prevention efforts.
Purple Bench projects have also been commenced in Southern Cross and Beverley.
After a successful inaugural campaign, White Ribbon Australia is running their latest fundraising initiative Cheese for Change for another year in a row.
Cheese for Change encourages Australians to create a cheese platter, or other cheesy dish (such as grilled cheese toasted sandwiches, or Indigenous inspired Baked Wattleseed Cheesecakes) with friends, family and co-workers, whilst raising much-needed funds for White Ribbon’s men’s violence against women awareness and prevention programs.
The event runs from Thursday 28 March to Sunday 31 March, however supporters are welcome to host a Cheese for Change event at any time during March.
Funds raised go towards supporting White Ribbon’s national primary prevention campaign, which aims to stop violence before it occurs, through education initiatives in schools, workplaces and the broader community.
White Ribbon is committed to building an Australian community where every woman lives in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse.
Support White Ribbon directly by making a donation.
Note to media: White Ribbon Australia asks all media to include the following line when reporting on incidents of men’s violence against women: If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for advice or support. This free service providing confidential advice is open 24/7. In an emergency, call the police on 000. All incidents of violence should be reported to the police.
Indigenous Family Violence is a national issue that requires the involvement of many stakeholders across the country to overcome.
Receive 10% DISCOUNT using the code WR10 on the registration page.
The 5th annual Overcoming Indigenous Family Violence Forum (Melbourne & Perth) has partnered with Djirra and brings together representatives from government, police, legal services, not-for-profit, community organisation, and family violence support services. They all have a vital role to play in tackling indigenous family violence.
During the course of this conference and 1-day workshop, we will explore critical issues in the indigenous family violence space, including state and federal government initiatives; how frontline services are engaging in prevention, early intervention and response; building better relationships between police and local communities; hearing directly from survivors of family violence; working more effectively with perpetrators to achieve positive behaviour change and empowering indigenous communities to prevent child abuse and neglect.
White Ribbon Australia acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the country on which we work, the Cammeraygal people of the Eora nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
White Ribbon Australia recognises that the movement to prevent men’s violence against women is built on the tireless efforts of women and women-led organisations throughout history, internationally and in Australia.