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The murder of Maria Van Beers marks 61 women killed in Australia in 2018

We are horrified to learn of the murder of Maria Van Beers, by her ex-husband, at their Tweed Heads townhouse on November 12th. The mother of two had reportedly been married to her husband for 37 years before they separated a couple of years ago.

“We’re outraged by yet another act of gender-based violence in Australia. All women should be able to live in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse. Violence against women must end today. There’s so much more that needs to be done so we don’t see another tragic incident like this unfold.” said Delia Donovan, Acting CEO.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends affected by Maria’s death. This year we have lost far too many women at the hands of violent men. This is utterly unacceptable and inexcusable.

On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner in Australia, with violence against women accounting for 61 women’s deaths in 2018.

Men’s violence against women is absolutely abhorrent 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.

 

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.

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White Ribbon Australia CEO Update

White Ribbon Australia’s Board of Directors announced today that Delia Donovan has assumed the role of Acting CEO after the employment of Tracy McLeod Howe ended.

“We thank Tracy for the past three months and we wish her well in her future endeavours,” said Acting Chair Ian Carter AM.

“We are focusing all of our resources on stopping the appalling level of men’s violence against women across Australia.

“The Board has every confidence in the highly experienced White Ribbon team led by Acting CEO Delia Donovan. Ms Donovan has played a leading role in White Ribbon for more than four years, previously led a frontline domestic violence service in the UK and has worked in the social work sector throughout her career.

“The team is passionate about supporting the 16,000 strong White Ribbon community, and more than 600,000 supporters across government, businesses and community organisations.

“This movement of committed Australians delivers key change through primary prevention programs. They are ably led by passionate and devoted committees, advocates and ambassadors who volunteer their leadership, time and support. Many of them courageously share their personal experiences of men’s violence against women to help change behaviours and attitudes.”

The leadership team will ensure White Ribbon continues to maintain a unified national approach alongside sector, government and organisational partners. White Ribbon believes that this commitment is fundamental to Australia’s national response to addressing men’s violence against women and the advocacy for all aspects of women’s rights in Australia.

The organisation’s current priority is White Ribbon Day on Friday 23 November and supporting the global commitment to 16 days of activism from 25 November.

White Ribbon will continue to promote a whole of community response to ending men’s violence against women.

White Ribbon is unable to make any further comment at this time.

 

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.

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White Ribbon withdraws Luke Foley’s Ambassador status

White Ribbon Australia has zero tolerance for disrespect, abuse and violence of any kind towards women.

White Ribbon acknowledges Ashleigh’s courage in making a public statement about an incident that women should never experience.

We will never excuse or defend violence towards women of any kind. No matter who you are, what part of the community or organisation you are from – including if that person is an ambassador or connected to our own organisation – wherever disrespect and abuse against women occurs then the perpetrators must always be held to account.

White Ribbon has stood Mr Foley down from the White Ribbon Ambassador program, pending the investigation. All White Ribbon Ambassadors must pass a rigorous training program and abide at all times to the tenets of the Ambassador program. If at any time this is breached, then this respected status will be withdrawn.

White Ribbon calls for this matter to be discussed respectfully and in a way which supports women who display courage in speaking out against any abuse. 

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White Ribbon does not support or work with any gambling organisation

White Ribbon Australia is not and has not been working in association with Neds or any other betting organisation.

It is White Ribbon’s policy to not partner with gaming organisations. These include, gambling organisations such as casinos, corporate bookmakers and state-based pari-mutuel organisations.

White Ribbon Australia’s Director of Community and Programs, Delia Donovan said the organisation’s primary focus is to end men’s violence against women.

“We know gambling can fuel abuse and violence and we do not stand for it. Therefore, we do not accept donations from gambling.”

“White Ribbon is always prepared to have the tough conversations across the community when it comes to addressing the causes of violence against women. We are always prepared to stand up, speak out and act.”

White Ribbon has been the charity beneficiary of the Gold Coast Titans for a number of years, however has not had any associations with Neds.

The Titans did not receive authorisation from White Ribbon for their communication and marketing collateral to associate White Ribbon with Neds prior to the launch of the new jerseys.

“We need to stop the problem before it starts. That’s why we have schools’ programs, sports education programs, workplace accreditation and community committees. We have these programs to educate everyone from young kids to adults about respect, equality and healthy relationships.”

White Ribbon apologises to the community for any confusion this has caused.

 

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.

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Tasmanian Department of State Growth sets new record for ‘Outstanding Achievement’ in Workplace Accreditation Program

Early in October, the Tasmanian Department of State Growth successfully achieved White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation status. An enormous achievement in itself, after completing the rigorous 18-month program demonstrating a strong stance in response to men’s violence against women.

Not only have they received accreditation status, but received 8 ‘outstanding achievements’ against their assessment criteria. A new record for the Workplace Accreditation Program since its inception in 2012. 

Through their assessment, it was clear that Tasmanian State Growth is strongly committed to creating an inclusive workplace that embraces the values of equality and respect. They were also rated as ‘outstanding’ regarding their internal communications, engagement, policy development, manager training, risk assessment, support for victims and approach to continuous improvement.

Their accreditation not only demonstrates what they stand for as an organisation but allows them to encourage other industries to take the same stand.

Check out the Tasmanian State Services Heads of Agency video, showcasing their ongoing commitment to preventing men’s violence against women, in the workplace and beyond.

Tasmanian State Services Heads of Agency Video | White Ribbon Australia

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White Ribbon Australia’s Board affirms support for reproductive rights

At its meeting today the Board of White Ribbon Australia affirmed its position statement in support of women’s reproductive rights as issued on 23 February 2017.

This statement was never open for debate or consultation and should not have been withdrawn from our website.  We very much regret any confusion or distress that has been caused by recent communications on this issue.

The rights of women to live safely and free of violence, and to have control of their reproductive and sexual health, are both fundamental human rights.  Addressing reproductive coercion is a key part of our efforts to eliminate violence against women.

White Ribbon Australia looks forward to continuing its critical work in partnership with a range of organisations in ending violence against women.

 

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White Ribbon Australia maintains the current position on women’s reproductive rights

White Ribbon Australia maintains the current position on women’s reproductive rights.

White Ribbon Australia CEO, Tracy McLeod Howe said it is important that women feel safe, their rights are protected and they are equal in all facets of society.

“We have and always will be about ensuring women are safe and free from all forms of violence. Our position on reproductive rights was positioned within that context.” Ms McLeod Howe said.

White Ribbon Australia will undergo an immediate and comprehensive consultation process with our stakeholders. Following this, White Ribbon will communicate the outcome of the consultation.

Whilst the intention had been to remedy the process under the original statement of support, this has been viewed as a change in stance around reproductive rights.

We apologise for the confusion and we look forward to working with our stakeholders on this important issue.

For anyone needing support please phone 1800RESPECT for sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling – 1800 737 732

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.

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White Ribbon Australia Chair Nicholas Cowdery AM QC resigns

White Ribbon Australia’s Board confirms that Nicholas Cowdery AM QC has resigned as Director, Chair of the Board and White Ribbon Ambassador effective immediately.

He has taken this action in order to deflect adverse attention away from White Ribbon Australia which was attracted by reason of a comment he made in his capacity as former DPP for NSW in a program aired by ABC TV.

Mr Cowdery regrets the burden placed on White Ribbon Australia staff by these events. He is keen to support White Ribbon Australia and wishes it well in its future endeavours.

The Board would like to thank Mr Cowdery for his dedicated leadership and advocacy of the organisation’s objectives over the past two and a half years.

White Ribbon Director, Ian Carter AM, will assume the role of Acting Chair until such time as the Board has the opportunity to formally appoint a Chair. Mr Carter is the CEO of Anglicare WA, and recognised for his significant leadership roles and expertise at a local, national and international level in social services, justice and community building.

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‘White Ribbon Approved Training Provider’ initiative launched

White Ribbon Australia is changing our approach to engagement with providers of training for organisations participating in the Workplace Accreditation Program. From the 1st October 2018, White Ribbon will be introducing White Ribbon Approved Training Provider Status, in partnership with Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia. This launch will instill a process of ongoing quality checking of branded White Ribbon training to ensure high standards of design and delivery are maintained.

In the years since the program began, over 80 training organisations have delivered training to workplaces participating on the program. The official list of White Ribbon Approved Training Providers in Australia and each state can be viewed here.

“Training providers have never had the chance to label their training as “White Ribbon Training” before,” said Tracy McLeod Howe, CEO at White Ribbon Australia. “It will give them an unbeatable competitive advantage and position them as leaders in the workplace training space.”

For more information about this new initiative, or to come on board as an Approved Training Provider, contact the White Ribbon Workplaces team.

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.

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