This Father’s Day White Ribbon is calling on fathers and father-figures to take the time to talk with their children about what it means to be a father.
The Let’s Talk About What it Means to be a Father campaign will launch ahead of Father’s Day and is an evidence-informed initiative addressing the positive influence fathers and male role-models can play in inspiring and shaping a more socially aware and equal generation.
White Ribbon Chair, Tony Pearson said the role of a father has an important place in a child’s life.
“Research shows strong positive bonds between fathers and their children has a positive impact on the relationships they will have as adults.
“That’s why we’re asking all fathers and father-figures to reflect on and understand the important role they play in raising the next generation with values of respect, gender equality and, ultimately, violence prevention.
“The conversations they have today with their children, will shape the person they become tomorrow.”
As an organisation that works to create a healthier, positive view of masculinity, White Ribbon created this campaign to celebrate the many fathers who are challenging traditional views of masculinity, resetting society’s perception of what it means to be a dad.
White Ribbon Ambassador, Clint Newton says fatherhood has changed his perception of what it takes to be a man and what masculinity means to him.
“Since having my daughters, I have learnt that my role as a father and as a man is to lead and guide rather than simply protect and provide. In my view, you demonstrate significant strength through vulnerability and compassion. Dissolving the illusion that I created, ‘because I am a man my family expects perfection and fearlessness’, was an important part of my transformation as a father and husband. Being seen for who you truly are is what’s important rather than trying to be someone you think society (or family) expects you to be,” Mr Newton said.
The Let’s Talk About What it Means to be a Father campaign includes a number of videos, featuring community leaders with a range of experiences of fatherhood, including Mr Newton, talking with their children about these experiences. It also includes resources, tools and education opportunities.
“It’s not just about biological fathers, any male role-model can hold this special place and fundamentally guide a person’s development, values and beliefs,” said Mr Pearson.
“Families and fatherhood roles come in many shapes and sizes, and this campaign celebrates this, demonstrating the power of positive fathering.”
The videos between fathers and their children can be viewed here.
Friday, 16 August 2019 – White Ribbon Australia has today announced the appointment of two new non-executive directors, Sophie MacIntosh and Julian McPherson.
Ms MacIntosh is the Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary of Smartgroup (an ASX200 company), and Mr McPherson is Partner in Charge of KPMG’s Audit and Assurance practice in Sydney.
Chair of White Ribbon Australia, Tony Pearson, commented that the appointments reflect an ongoing commitment to strengthening White Ribbon’s governance, and bring extensive leadership in finance, risk and legal skills to the board.
“I’m delighted to welcome Sophie and Julian, and look forward to their contributions, particularly as we continue our work on White Ribbon’s strategic review.”
Mr Pearson also acknowledged the contributions of current board members Bernie Pearce and Carole Molyneux who have indicated their desire to retire from the board.
“Bernie has played an important role in championing the work of White Ribbon through his leadership of the many community activities and programs that support our mission.
“Carole’s commitment to White Ribbon extends back many years, where she was one of White Ribbon’s earliest supporters during her time as CEO of Suzanne Grae, before joining the board over six years ago in 2013.”
Sophie is an experienced legal and governance professional with over 20 years’ experience working across top tier global law firms, Ashurst and DLA Piper, and global corporates. Sophie is currently the Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary of Smartgroup Corporation, an ASX200 company, which provides salary packaging, fleet management and other employee management services for organisations across Australia, with a particular focus on the Not for Profit sector.
Sophie holds a Masters in Law from the University of Sydney, and a Bachelors of Law (Honours) and Bachelors of Business (Finance) from The University of Technology, Sydney and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Julian is an experienced finance and accounting professional. He is currently Partner in Charge of KPMG’s Audit and Assurance practice in Sydney. Julian has worked for KPMG for over 22 years in the UK, US and Australia. His experience with KPMG has covered a broad range of clients including leading the audits of a number of ASX100 companies.
Julian is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and a Registered Company Auditor.
Monday, 1 July 2019 – White Ribbon Australia has today announced the appointment of Tony Pearson as its new Chair. Mr Pearson will succeed John Rosewarne, who is retiring from the board later this year. Mr Pearson paid tribute to Mr Rosewarne and to White Ribbon’s mission.
“As the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end men’s violence against women, White Ribbon has an important role to play in highlighting the responsibility that men have in reducing the levels of domestic violence in our society, achieving gender equality, and promoting healthy and respectful relationships.
“I would also like to acknowledge the dedicated service of John Rosewarne, and his leadership of White Ribbon over his eight years on the Board.”
Mr Pearson will lead the next phase of White Ribbon’s evolution, with an immediate focus on developing the organisation’s new three year strategy, and governance renewal.
“Over the coming months, we will reflect on our mission — critically evaluating all aspects of what we do and how we do it. We will also look to develop closer relationships with key stakeholders — government, other sector organisations, corporate partners, and grass roots communities — to ensure that White Ribbon’s mission continues to be relevant and effective, and is achieved in collaboration with the many dedicated organisations and people that work in this space.”
Mr Rosewarne commented: “I’m incredibly pleased to see someone with the experience and expertise of Tony Pearson taking on the role of White Ribbon Chair. His credentials will bring new thinking and energy to White Ribbon’s next phase.”
Delia Donovan, White Ribbon’s CEO, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome a person of Tony Pearson’s calibre to the Chair role. His appointment brings experienced leadership to White Ribbon, strengthening our governance and our commitment to change.”
Mr Pearson is currently a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Garden & Domain Trust, a Commissioner at the Independent Planning Commission, and a non-executive director of Cellnet and Peak Resources. Prior to these non-executive appointments, Mr Pearson was a Managing Director at HSBC.
White Ribbon Australia celebrated the work of multicultural leaders in a graduation ceremony on Friday 31 May in Melbourne. The empowering Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Leaders Project took proactive steps to address the gaps in the prevention of violence against women from multicultural or CALD backgrounds through a number of community engagement projects.
White Ribbon Australia CEO, Delia Donovan said that in 2018, there were 7.3 million migrants living in Australia, with 29 per cent of the population having been born overseas. She added that there continues to be huge complexities for CALD communities accessing the support they need and that rates of abuse, disrespect and violence continue to need addressing through a strengths based approach.
“We know that violence against women is a big issue because our national statistics tell us so and women in our CALD communities are especially susceptible for a variety of reasons. This project has supported emerging leaders from CALD communities to engage with their communities on this issue and make a positive change. ,” Ms Donovan said.
“This year alone, 20 women have been killed in Australia. That means that each week at least one woman is killed by a current or former partner. This is simply unacceptable and no less than a national crisis. Prevention alongside other modes of practice continues to be fundamental if we are to stop the violence before it starts and address this as a whole community.
“Prevention programs that raise awareness and educate the community about violence against women are essential. As part of White Ribbon’s strategy to address this, we need to continue to work more closely with CALD communities.”
White Ribbon Australia believes the key to ending violence against women in diverse communities is to ensure that men and women within these communities lead, educate and raise awareness to empower change.
Ms Donovan added: “We have heard anecdotes which support these findings many times. That’s why we partnered with AMES Australia to deliver a program which trained individuals from CALD backgrounds to connect with their communities, educate and share information to end violence against women. Partnership efforts remains key for White Ribbon in order to maximise community reach and impact.”
The emerging CALD Leaders Project engaged with more than 40 men and women in Melbourne who have become passionate leaders and supporters for ending violence against women. Participants developed resources, tools, delivered workshops, presentations and created videos to engage with their communities on the issue of abuse and violence against women.
Financial abuse is a significant problem for many migrant women, with some revealing they must cover all home expenses, relinquish all their earnings to their partner or other family members.
“When I didn’t give him my money, he was angry with me. One day I spent $60 so he got angry and he beat me very badly for not letting him know. The second [time] was when I wanted a new iron and he didn’t let me buy a new iron. I got upset and then I went to my bedroom and he came and then sat on my stomach and slapped my face.”
Participant, Manal Shehab, said she became involved because of her own lived experience and the adversity experienced by other women. “It is disheartening and upsetting to see barrier after barrier come up at a time when women are trying to muster courage to leave an abusive relationship and create a stable safe home for themselves and their children, only to find they are on their own,” she said.
“These women are juggling emotions, a fear of being killed, stalked, having children taken away from them, finances, housing, schools, courts, questioning their faith, perhaps moving away from family and social supports, and on top of that navigate a very complex system.”
As part of their training with White Ribbon and AMES, Manal and her fellow project participants, are now educating and empowering those within their community by organising workshops on preventing violence against women. Participants are encouraged to discuss gender roles, myths, women’s rights within their religion and cultural practices. For her workshops, Manal examines Islamic texts, traditions and how some translations are problematic when they give men power over women. Manal offers alternative scholarly and plausible translations that disengages with perspectives of power and violence.
The graduating project participants that evening took away printed cards with photos of themselves and their messages of how they will prevent violence in their community. They shared with the audience what they have learned and what aspirations they have for the future.
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.”
With a sell-out event in Sydney and limited seats left in Brisbane and Melbourne, the event will be debating, “Her aspiration needs his cooperation” This ties in with International Women’s Day’s global theme, #balanceforbetter, in efforts to achieve a more gender-balanced world. Across the world – from the workplace to education to politics – women are still facing prejudice, intolerance and inequality in 2019.
White Ribbon Australia is honoured to have been chosen as the charity partner for this event. The International Women’s Day Great Debates provide a provocative, yet insightful, way to address gender inequality. On the Debate day, raffle tickets will be sold and all profits will be going to further extend our primary prevention work in schools, workplaces and communities across Australia. Through our programs and campaigns, we engage with men to be part of the social change needed to prevent men’s violence against women.
With limited tickets available for Brisbane and Melbourne, don’t miss your chance to see two teams of local business leaders and media personalities, comedically battle it out while they address feminism and the future. Tickets are available here.
White Ribbon Australia would like to thank all of our raffle prize donors for their support:
“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 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.