Prevent men’s violence against women

Ambassador Q&A: Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner
July 2016

Proud White Ribbon Ambassador Chris Wagner shares with us how he finds violence against women inexcusable and how it was a perspective that inspired him to become an ambassador and vocal advocate for White Ribbon Australia.

What is your day job?

I am the Head of Communications at the Australian War Memorial.

How long have you been a White Ribbon Ambassador?

I have been a White Ribbon Ambassador for about 7 years.

Why did you decide to become an Ambassador?

Violence against women has always been, for me, one of the most incomprehensible of things. I simply just do not understand how a man, or anyone, could do such an awful thing. Yet, sadly it’s a tragedy that occurs all too often in our community.

For too long I listened while men made those self-same arguments, ‘it’s not me’ or ‘it happens to men too’ or that most despicable of excuses ‘it’s just boys being boys’. All just excuses to keep doing nothing.

In reality however, there are men who live throughout our community, who struggle with how to stop this behavior. I was, and still am, one of those men. I saw White Ribbon as an opportunity to be the change I wanted to see, in tandem with like-minded men and women who were also driven to make a difference.

And then I had a daughter and it crystalized my thinking. I wanted her to live in a world where she was free to feel safe and protected. The campaign offered me a chance to start making a difference. That’s why I became a White Ribbon Ambassador.

In what ways have you been involved in the White Ribbon Campaign?

I have had a variety of roles in my time as a White Ribbon Ambassador. In the early days I acted as a spokesperson for the movement. Then, I was part of the Capital Region White Ribbon Group, and we held a lot of BBQ breakfasts. I’ve signed on many new Ambassadors, including a few famous individuals!

At all times, I’m a representative of the movement and the reality of it. It’s about finding safe and sensible ways to change the way men act and think in regards to preventing violence against women.

Why is Gender Equality important to you as an Ambassador?

I’m a believer in pure equality. We are, regardless of colour, race, religion or gender, all human beings. We are all fundamentally the same in regards to blood and bone, hearts and minds. So I believe in merit. If you can do the job, or perform the role, or make that important change, it shouldn’t ever matter who you are, where you come from, or what gender you are. Everyone deserves the same opportunities. That includes living in a world free of violence.

What goals do you hope to accomplish as an Ambassador in the future?

I’m hoping to continue to grow my personal connection to the campaign. Being a busy dad with a reasonably big job, it’s not always easy to dedicate the time to the campaign I’d like to. But I hope that my work promoting the ideal of the campaign in my community is enough for now!

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