White Ribbon Australia is proud to announce that DP World Australia has continued its commitment to preventing men’s violence against women by becoming a Silver Sponsor.
DP World Australia is the leading container terminal stevedore in Australia, a critical link in the cargo logistics chain with a unique set of assets, machinery, skills and experience. Each year, the company creates a clear path for 1700 ships, 1.5 million trucks and 3100 trains across Australia.
DP World Australia first attained White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation in 2015 and is currently undertaking reaccreditation with White Ribbon’s Workplaces Team. White Ribbon is proud to be both working with the company’s workforce through the accreditation program and to receive its support as a Silver Sponsor.
Paul Scurrah, DP World Australia’s Managing Director and CEO, said DP World Australia is proud to be a Silver Sponsor of White Ribbon Australia.
“With a male workforce of 92 percent, it was an easy decision to align with White Ribbon, the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end men’s violence against women.
As an accredited workplace, our sponsorship with White Ribbon reinforces our commitment to playing an active role in preventing violence against women.
We are proud to be part of the change needed to build greater equality and respect between men and women, and work to reduce attitudes in society that support violence,” he said.
Through Silver Sponsorship, White Ribbon will be supported to deliver primary prevention initiatives that aim to stop violence before it happens, through education, awareness raising and by challenging ingrained attitudes and power inequalities that give rise to men’s violence against women. White Ribbon is dedicated to delivering programs in schools, workplaces and the broader community.
In May 2018, Sunila Kotwal traveled to Western Australia on behalf of White Ribbon Australia, running workshops to engage with ethnically diverse communities to take a leadership role to prevent men’s violence against women. Sunila shares with us her experience of this Western Australia tour.
This Western Australia trip allowed me an opportunity to engage with Indigenous and multicultural communities on behalf of White Ribbon Australia. I ran a series of workshops during my trip that were insightful and inspiring. During the trip, I engaged with the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI), Department of Home Affairs, White Ribbon Ambassador and former WA Committee Chair Andre De Barr, Aboriginal Ambassador Wayne Wood (Branch Secretary of Australian Services Union WA), Ambassadors Joe Tuazama and Ibrahim Kebe, and the WA Police.
At the beginning of the trip, I delivered two workshops with the Aboriginal organisations Jacaranda Community Center and Moorditj Koort (Healthy Heart) Aboriginal Health and Wellness Center, engaging with the health workers. These health workers came up with ideas to spread awareness of preventing men’s violence against women, such as having messages on the back of buses and playing White Ribbon videos at pubs to bring this issue on the forefront of people’s mind.
Embodying this year’s NAIDOC theme ‘Because of her, we can’, the workshop participants looked at ways to teach their sons and men from their families to build respectful relationships with their wives, partners and daughters, ensuring that the cycle of violence was broken and it did not pass on to the next generation.
The next set of workshops were with multicultural communities. I facilitated four workshops across two days with Karen, Chinese, Muslim and Indian communities.
Karen people live in Myanmar, Thailand and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (India). In this workshop, I engaged with Karen community leaders who had identified the problem of family violence and wanted it to change. The enterprising Secretary of Karen Welfare Association filmed participants taking the White Ribbon Oath during the break, speaking in English, Burmese and Karen. The Karen community is proactive, and want to engage with the White Ribbon social change movement by becoming Supporters, Ambassadors and Advocates.
This was our very first opportunity to engage with members of the Chinese community in Western Australia. Participants began to open up when I pointed out the similarities of the issues faced by migrants in the new country such as a lack of awareness of support services for the victims. They also learned about how White Ribbon, as a primary prevention agency, can engage with silent bystanders to ensure that abusive and violent behaviour is prevented before it can occur. By the end of the workshop, the participants were keen to make a difference within their communities.
The third workshop was with the Muslim community and was organised in the morning to observe Ramadan. They were active participants and every single person in this group said that their role model was Mohammad, the Prophet.
Everything that was discussed, was related back to the Quran: this is what the Prophet did, this is what his wife did; he respected his wives and their viewpoints, he took advice from them, and the Quran does not teach violence. Relating the messages to their religious scriptures made the messages more relatable. It was insightful for me to engage with such a devout religious group. The Muslim community was open, articulate and ready to engage.
The final workshop was with the Indian community. The President of the Indian Society of Western Australia (ISWA) is very committed to preventing violence within the community. This was the first time the people had come together to talk about domestic violence. The Indian Consul General Mr. Amit Kumar Mishra attended the event, highlighting the importance of this issue. White Ribbon Advocate Madhuri Mathisen spoke at length, not only sharing her experience as a survivor but also offering her support to the community as a counsellor. Overall, the Indian community members showed willingness to take leadership and work collaboratively. ISWA has already organised their first event ‘Men’s Breakfast’ on 1 July 2018.
My main takeaway was unfortunately how prevalent domestic violence is in every community. Some communities have taken initiative to stop this, while it is still a taboo topic within some communities. With cultural awareness and sensitivity, identifying specific issues and initiatives for each community, customizing the delivery of the messages, it is possible to engage with these communities and encourage them to take leadership to stop men’s violence against women. After all, who does not want a happy family and healthy, well rounded children?
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Author, Sunila Kotwal, is White Ribbon Australia’s Diversity and Inclusion Manager. She is of Indian background and has been with the organisation for two and a half years. Sunila works across the different programs at White Ribbon, embedding diversity and inclusion into all the organisation’s work to reflect Australia’s diverse community needs.
White Ribbon Chair appoints Tracy McLeod Howe as new CEO of White Ribbon Australia.
This morning, White Ribbon Australia Chair Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, announced the appointment of the organisation’s new CEO, Tracy McLeod Howe, following the retirement of Libby Davies AM, effective 5th July 2018.
Ms McLeod Howe brings with her extensive experience and expertise in government and non-government settings, including previous roles as CEO of the NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS), CEO of Domestic Violence NSW and senior legal advisor to the Federal Government.
“We are delighted to welcome Ms McLeod Howe as the new CEO of White Ribbon Australia. Her experience at Domestic Violence NSW and most recently at NCOSS will be of great benefit to the organisation and to our campaign as a social movement working to end men’s violence against women,” Mr Cowdery said.
“Ms McLeod Howe brings with her a wealth of knowledge in this sector, having worked in frontline women’s and children’s domestic and family services and having served on a number of advisory committees, including the NSW Government’s Social Impact Investment Expert Advisory Group and the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Council. Ms McLeod Howe was also the NSW non-government representative on the National Plan Implementation Panel for the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.”
Mr Cowdery says that White Ribbon Australia will continue to build on its internationally recognised and well validated foundations. “We will continue to deliver and expand on our programs that, through best practice and well-developed program logic, are creating positive social change and making a difference in this vital area of social policy and practice.
“As CEO of White Ribbon Australia for the past seven years Ms Davies has been responsible for growing this critical social change movement to be the leading organization for reducing violence against women and families in Australia. Libby has played a central role in advocating for the need to engage and motivate men to stand beside women to prevent men’s violence against women.
Her stewardship has been supported by her thorough working knowledge of the way the causes of violence against women interconnect, the root causes of gender inequality, and of the domestic and family violence policy landscape,” Mr Cowdery said.
Ms McLeod Howe has thanked outgoing CEO Libby Davies AM. “Ms Davies’ commitment to driving social change in this field is truly admirable. I am looking forward to continuing to build on the organisation’s foundations as developed and strengthened by Ms Davies.”
The White Ribbon Australia Board are looking forward to officially welcoming Ms McLeod Howe when she commences on the 16th July.
About the White Ribbon Australia Fatherhood Program
With the support of the Australian Government, White Ribbon Australia is launching the Fatherhood Program. For many men, fatherhood is a time of transformation that inspires a deeper understanding about the importance of their role to act as positive agents of social change.
This whole-of-community program will be engaging men – as fathers, soon to be fathers, or those in father figure roles – to model and foster positive and respectful attitudes and behaviours towards girls and women. White Ribbon Australia will be engaging men from all cultural backgrounds across Australia through their involvement in White Ribbon Australia events and programs and interactions with White Ribbon Australia Ambassadors.
Expert Reference Group (Voluntary)
The ‘Expert Reference Group’ will be established to guide the development and implementation of the White Ribbon Australia Fatherhood Program Activity Work Plan. For the full position descriptionclick here.
How to apply
Expression of Interest (EOI) for the White Ribbon Australia Fatherhood Program ‘Expert Reference Group’ must be lodged by Saturday 30th June 2018 with Ron Mitchell, Fatherhood Program Coordinator, White Ribbon Australia, via email on:firstname.lastname@example.org
The EOI should include:
A brief CV/resume outlining your relevant experience and qualifications.
A brief statement addressing the following selection criteria (1-2 pages).
The name and contact details of a referee who has worked with you professionally.
Demonstrated expertise in various aspects of the prevention of men’s violence against women.
The commitment to inclusive practices that engage with and educate men in a national campaign.
Demonstrated experience in the development of innovative training programs and resources.
The commitment to maintain confidentially while sharing information, ideas and expertise.
All EOIs received by the due date will be evaluated against the selection criteria by White Ribbon Australia and the applicants will be informed about the outcome.
The AFL (Victoria) Season Launch Announcement | White Ribbon Australia Sports Team with VFL CEO Steven Reaper
With the launch of AFL Victoria’s Corporate Social Responsibility program earlier this year, White Ribbon Australia has been chosen as one of the four charities for the CSR program focus. This new collaboration with AFL Victoria will create numerous opportunities for White Ribbon Australia to work alongside the league to address the issue of men’s violence against women that is prevalent within Australia.
The partnership will bring together clubs across the state participating in White Ribbon Rounds throughout the season in order to increase awareness to players, staff and supporters. The first White Ribbon Round for 2018 took place on Saturday, the 5th of May where the Frankston Dolphins played against the Northern Blues. The players wore white arms bands in solidarity with women who have died at the hands of a current or former partner. White Ribbon Ambassador, Glenn Buesnel-May, opened the event recognising the importance of such community and sports collaboration to end men’s violence against women. This White Ribbon Round raised over $500 for White Ribbon programs in Victoria kicking off the partnership between the VFL and White Ribbon Australia on a very positive note.
The VFL’s commitment to the White Ribbon social change movement will work to raise awareness of the importance of respectful relationships among codes, clubs, members and fans. AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper understands the collaborative importance stating that “We know that football plays a powerful role in Victorian culture and the four themed rounds will enable us to utilise the strength of the Victorian football community to support and promote these causes.”
The other themed rounds will be supporting charities Fight MND, beyondblue, and Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF). The next White Ribbon Round will be held on the weekend of August 4th.
This letter is in support of the movement to make dowry abuse a global and United Nations’ issue in order to effectively prevent dowry related violence and abuse of women from immigrant communities.
White Ribbon Australia supports the advocacy work of Dr Manjula O’Connor, who together with like-minded individuals and organisations, is working to raise awareness of the issue of Dowry abuse internationally and establish legal deterrents to its practice.
Dr O’Connor is passionate about gender equality, domestic violence awareness and victim support both locally and abroad. Her advocacy to end men’s violence against women occurs across the breadth of her spheres of influence and is backed by sound research, deep professional knowledge and cultural understanding.
White Ribbon Australia strongly condemns any form of violence against women and works to change the attitudes and behaviours associated with male privilege and power that result in this violence. We acknowledge and identify that Dowry is a cultural practice that has its genesis in gender inequality and is the result of male privilege and men’s violence against women. Dowry, as an ancient cultural practice originated from India, where parents gifted their daughter jewellery and/or cash at her wedding. It began at a time when women were not financially independent. Some interpretations suggest that Dowry was payment to the daughter in lieu of inheritance. In modern India, the inheritance is equally divided between sons and daughters and the Dowry Prohibition Act was passed in 1961. This should have eradicated this practice, however, the practice of dowry has now spread across the world. When a woman marries a man living abroad, her husband can command a premium Dowry. This financial abuse, demanding more and ongoing dowry payments, can escalate to physical, sexual, emotional, psychological abuse, social isolation, sometimes leading to the bride’s death.
Dr O’Connor has mobilized the Victorian Government, presenting evidence of dowry abuse to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence (2016). Her advocacy resulted in the Royal Commission Recommendation 156 that states: “The Victorian Government amend section 6 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) to expand the statutory examples of family violence to include forced marriage and dowry related abuse (within 12 months).”
White Ribbon Australia supports Dr O’Connor’s advocacy to mobilise other Australian State and Territory Governments to put in place wider reaching legal deterrents to this practice. We also endorse this action in the global context.
This work aligns with the aim of the White Ribbon social change movement to prevent men’s violence against women. Core to the movement’s work is advocacy and programs working to change attitudes, behaviours and practices that have become normalised and that drive violence and abuse.
We urge your support of the establishment of global deterrents to Dowry practice.
White Ribbon Australia has zero tolerance approach to violence against women and expects that, as influential community institutions, all sporting clubs and associations also uphold a zero tolerance approach to help drive the change needed to stop this violence. NRL players and employees are role models for men and boys, women and girls across Australia, and should be held accountable for their actions at all times.
White Ribbon works with the NRL in an advisory capacity, including in the development of the game’s ‘Voice against Violence’ campaign and other prevention activities and initiatives. We remain committed to this work ensuring the NRL and all sporting codes demonstrate accountability, respect and transparency in their efforts to address and prevent men’s violence against women. White Ribbon does not have in place a formal partnership arrangement with the NRL.
Violence against women is a serious issue both in sport and in the community at large. It takes the whole of community working together and committed to a zero tolerance attitude to VAW to stop this violence before it occurs by challenging the deeply ingrained attitudes, behaviours and power inequalities that give rise to men’s violence against women.
Suzanne Grae has been a proud supporter and advocate of White Ribbon Australia since October 2008. Staff, store teams and customers have raised $2.6 million dollars over this past nine years. This extraordinary support has played a significant role in the growth and development of White Ribbon Australia and the White Ribbon social change movement in Australia. It has supported growth of our organisation to the independently acclaimed global leadership position it holds today. Across the almost decade during which Suzanne Grae has supported White Ribbon Australia we have developed and expanded our community engagement work and primary prevention programs that, as independently evaluated, are realising effective positive social change to help prevent men’s abuse of and violence against women. You can read our 2016-2017 Annual Report here.
The initial seed funding and the ongoing investment provided by Suzanne Grae has facilitated the award winning Breaking the Silence Respectful Relationships Schools Program which has been creating real generational change by strengthening a culture of respect and equality in school communities across Australia. Since 2009, Breaking the Silence has now supported 564 schools nationally, reaching over 23,500 teachers and 311,000 students.
Suzanne Grae was also part of the ground breaking pilot of the White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program. The company was one of the 26 pilot organisations to support the development of this Program in 2012. This cutting-edge engagement from Suzanne Grae paved the way for what is now an internationally recognised program driving positive cultural change throughout workplaces and their communities nationally. The Program has accredited 145 workplaces, engaging over 600,000 Australian employees across all sectors.
After a considered review, Suzanne Grae has made the decision to end its partnership with White Ribbon and in 2018 will direct its community support program to another area of need. White Ribbon Australia will continue to be a Suzanne Grae Workplace Giving partner.
Our deep appreciation to Suzanne Grae for the valuable partnership and critical support over the past nine years.
We acknowledge and acclaim the remarkable contribution the company has made towards ending men’s violence against women.
Please find below our position in relation to White Ribbon and Endeavour Drinks Group partnership which addresses your questions.
The partnership between White Ribbon Australia and the Endeavour Drinks Group was approved by the Board after a process of extensive stakeholder and research consultation. We are conscious that some supporters regard this partnership as controversial. We informed all supporters about this partnership.
Endeavour Drinks Group (EDG) have been supporting the work of White Ribbon since June 2013 to express their commitment to the prevention of violence against women. One of the main drivers for the establishment of this relationship was to “go where the problem is”. With millions of Australians visiting BWS/Dan Murphy’s each year, the partnership provides an opportunity to reach the community and continue to bring violence against women into the open, to talk about it and help prevent it from happening.
Our partnership with EDG is based on ethical engagement, sound research and an informed understanding of the issue of men’s violence against women and its link with alcohol. It is a relationship between a large retail group and White Ribbon Australia as part of the broader strategy to engage the community at large and men in particular, at times and places that extend the reach of the campaign into contexts that are difficult to reach.
Our campaign message is clear and unarguable: Alcohol is not an excuse for violence. There is no excuse. Within the limits of what is possible to convey with the time and means available at such points of sale, we believe that the displayed message in its context provides a focus on the link between alcohol and violence. Alcohol is not the underlying driver of violence against women. Men always have a choice; not all people who drink are violent, and many people who do not drink are violent. The proceeds that were raised by this initiative (including the Endeavour Drinks Group contribution) will be applied fully to programs aimed at young men at risk of alcohol abuse and abuse by violence.
Alcohol increases the likelihood and severity of violence and patterns of alcohol consumption. It is precisely for those reasons that White Ribbon Australia decided to target point of sale with key messaging that may be effective with men purchasing alcohol. Our message was on display and targeted to men at risk of alcohol-fuelled violence.
White Ribbon Australia is in no way denying a link between alcohol and violence – we are acknowledging the fact and seeking to contact men who may be at risk of causing the one to lead to the other. Nor is WRA supporting or encouraging the consumption of alcohol – we accept that it occurs and seek to use that circumstance to the advantage of our mission.
Research demonstrates that the relationship between alcohol and violence is the result of a complex interaction of a number of variables eg physical effect, individual characteristics, the drinking environment and societal attitudes and values. To address this issue associated with alcohol dependency and fuelled violence requires more than a focus on the activities of alcohol distributors.
To prevent violence against women requires engaging with the public at places where they live, work and play.
Alcohol does not itself drive violence against women. However, the contribution of alcohol to increased perpetration is significant in the context of social norms and practices that condone or support violence against women, in particular those relating to masculinity and masculine peer group behaviour.
Funds raised will enable White Ribbon to continue to drive primary prevention initiatives in communities across Australia, helping them to support efforts to stop men’s violence against women before it starts.
White Ribbon is committed to engaging with people across the community to obtain maximum reach on the key messaging on stopping violence against women in places where they live, work and play.