Prevent men’s violence against women

White Ribbon Empowering Fathers Project

Initially funded by the Department of Social Service (2018-19), White Ribbon’s Empowering Fathers Project engages men – as dads, soon-to-be dads, or those in caring roles – to understand and demonstrate their role in building safe and respectful families and communities. Through this project fathers are empowered to redefine masculinity, embrace gender equality, and learn about the importance of being positive role models to influence Australia’s future generations of boys.

The term ‘father’ is used broadly, for any man who has fathered children or who provides care for children. Fathers include biological, adoptive and step-fathers, uncles, family friends, guardians, foster parents and other men who are actively and intimately involved in a child’s life [1].

Through our work with fathers White Ribbon engages and supports men to:

    • Better understand and appreciate their role as fathers and soon to be fathers/father figures
    • Develop, maintain and role model healthy and respectful relationships with children and their families
    • Engage and educate their children and other father’s around respectful relationships and positive fatherhood.

To achieve this, White Ribbon’s has developed and provides:

[1]  Wells, L., Lorenzetti, L., Carolo, H., Dinner, T., Jones, C., Minerson, T., & Esina, E. (2013). Engaging Men and Boys in Domestic Violence Prevention: Opportunities and Promising Approaches. Calgary, AB: : The University of Calgary, Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence.

History of White Ribbon's Fatherhood Project

The Case Study of White Ribbon Australia’s Ambassador Program: Men as Allies to Prevent Men’s Violence against Women, conducted by Kenton Bell and Claire E. Seaman from the University of Wollongong, found that White Ribbon Ambassadors with children reflect on their role as fathers and this helps facilitate their understanding of gender equality issues and motivates them to foster positive change.

Bell and Seaman’s report emphasised an opportunity for White Ribbon Australia to further engage and support Ambassadors and fathers across the community more broader as advocates for prevention.

The project builds on this earlier research, providing fathers with resources to further reflect on their role as fathers and supports them to actively promote positive fatherhood in their families, workplaces and communities.

Fatherhood Reference Group

The White Ribbon Australia Fatherhood Reference Group is comprised of 15 members from across Australia. The Expert Reference Group guide the development and implementation of the White Ribbon Australia Fatherhood Program Activity Work Plan.



Gary Merryweather Chair NSW Police Legacy Ambassador
Andrew King Ambassador
Damian Green CEO Stopping Family Violence Inc. Ambassador
Dr Gregory Nash Senior Lecturer In Communication Ambassador
Nick Tebbey National Executive Officer Relationships Australia
Simon Earle CEO Maritime Employees Training Ltd. (METL) Ambassador
Jack Bulman CEO Mibbinbah
Jimmy Mtashar Teacher NSW Department of Education Ambassador
Kenton Bell Student and Researcher University of Wollongong Ambassador
Maris Depers Psychologist and AOD Counsellor The Salvation Army Ambassador
Phil Wells Human Resources Manager L’Oréal Luxe Australia Ambassador
Jessica Single Child Protection Caseworker NSW FACS Advocate
Sarah Hunter Post-doctoral research fellow, College of Nursing and Health Sciences Flinders University
Kuranda Seyit Founder and Director Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations (FAIR)
Clint Newton General Manager - Stakeholder Relations Rugby League Players' Association Ambassador

Gary is from Western Sydney NSW and is a White Ribbon Ambassador and an organiser of White Ribbon fundraising events including the 250 km White Ribbon Ride for Awareness from Newcastle to Blacktown. Gary was formerly the Commander of Blacktown Police Local Area and is currently the Chair of NSW Police Legacy. Gary has over thirty years of policing experience sadly including the investigation of Domestic violence related murders and has lived experience of the significant family impacts that flow on from such trauma. Gary also brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of frontline response and investigation of daily incidents domestic and family violence in Western Sydney. He is an advocate of primary prevention strategies deployed by White Ribbon and the need to influence the change in men’s behaviours. Gary is working towards change the acceptance of domestic and family violence within the community. He believes in challenging the concept of male entitlement to achieve gender equality.

Andrew is a leading group work specialist in community services, counselling and health. A respected author of multiple text books and training programs, he has devoted a large part of his career to group work and working with men, fathering and domestic violence.

As CEO of Stopping Family Violence (SFV), Damian is a passionate advocate and researcher of Family and Domestic Violence interventions, with 15 years’ experience in the sector. Through his work at SFV, and as a Research Associate at Curtin University, Damian has been involved in numerous research projects exploring, family violence, intervention programs and parenting.

Greg is a Senior Lecturer in Communication and the White Ribbon Queensland State Committee Chair. He has published broadly on topics from communication in higher education through to social commentary about the prevention of domestic violence and parenting. Greg is very passionate about social justice and applies considerable time to the prevention of men’s violence against women.

Simon is the CEO of Maritime Employees Training Ltd. (METL), a training body in the maritime industry, where 98% of the workforce is male. METL is a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace and has been involved in the campaign for over seven years. Simon has  worked as a Primary School Teacher, a corporate Learning  and Development professional, and an Educator and Trainer in a community-based, drug and alcohol primary prevention program. As a White Ribbon Ambassador and father of two, Simon understands the importance of promoting gender equality and a positive image of masculinity for future generations.

Jack is a Muthi Muthi man from NSW. Through the years Jack has been involved in a wide variety of community activities. Jack, received a Bachelor of Health Sciences/ Health Promotion from La Trobe University where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male’s Health became a passion. While at university, Jack was recruited to work in Men’s Health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Males in Queensland. Subsequently, Jack set up Mibbinbah – a Health Promotion Charity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Males that focuses on building safe spaces and actioning Community concerns issues with Dr. Rick Hayes.

Jimmy is a proud White Ribbon Ambassador and secondary school educator. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Teaching. Jimmy co-founded Liverpool White Ribbon Committee and has a long history of organising community events to raise awareness about the important issue of gender equality. He is an active contributor on numerous domestic violence, youth and mental health committees. Jimmy has served on White Ribbon’s National Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Reference Group and is a member of Multicultural NSW Regional Advisory Council. He has over a decade of experience working with diverse communities in the non-for-profit sector holding a number of senior positions.

Kenton is currently undertaking a Masters in Humanities and Social Inquiry and a Masters in Higher Education Studies. His research will include the construction of free MOOC (massive open online courses) exploring ways to improve the engagement of men to prevent violence against women. Bell’s professional objectives are to teach sociology while researching solutions-oriented approaches to preventing violence.

Maris is a Psychologist and AOD Counsellor with The Salvation Army First Floor Program, a family inclusive drug and alcohol service in Wollongong NSW. He has worked extensively with men and in particular male offenders of domestic and family violence, developed and run a number of respectful relationships programs for young boys and men and regularly facilitates White Ribbon workshops at high schools and universities. He is a proud father and feels he has learned more about himself and the world since he started to view these things through his daughter’s eyes than at any other time.

Phil is responsible for Talent Development, Employee Engagement, Leadership and Capability at L’Oréal Australia, who is a proud Corporate Sponsor of White Ribbon Australia and recognized for modernizing the workplace with fatherhood-friendly policies, flexible work practices and parental leave entitlements. Phil’s studies include Human Resources, Commerce, Executive MBA and most recently Business Strategy with international business school INSEAD. Phil is a proud White Ribbon Ambassador since 2014. In April 2018, Phil trekked the Kokoda Trail, helping to raise over $100K to end violence against women.

Jessica is a child protection caseworker at the Newcastle Joint Investigation Response Team (JIRT), a specialised team consisting of FACS, Police and Health who respond to reports of sexual and physical abuse of children. Jessica has a Bachelor of Social Science/Criminal Justice from Charles Sturt University. She is also a White Ribbon Advocate and excited about working with White Ribbon to educate the wider community in relation to domestic violence.

Sarah is a post-doctoral research fellow in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University. She has worked extensively in the area of gender, men and masculinities. Her research has explored hegemonic masculinities and its continuing influence in the lives of men and women and the impact on parenting and society. Sarah is passionate about exploring and understanding masculinities as it plays a vital role in the quest for gender equality and is crucial when focusing on men’s violence against women.

Kuranda held the post of White Ribbon Ambassador from 2010 to 2014 and is currently very well connected with Australia’s Islamic community. He is the Founder and Director of the Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations (FAIR) and of the Islamicare Parenting Helpline, a confidential and culturally appropriate telephone service for Muslim families. He was formerly the CEO of the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW.  Kuranda is also an award-winning peace activist and documentary filmmaker. He has extensive experience in media and public relations, and his interfaith work was featured in an episode of ABC Compass.

As a husband, father of two girls and playing professional Rugby League in Australia and Europe for 15 years before moving into Sports Administration through the Rugby League Players’ Association (General Manager of Stakeholder Relations), Clint has invaluable insights on the challenges facing our communities. He has a unique ability to bring people together, deliver fair and innovative solutions and is known for his highly developed conflict resolution skills which have seen deliver positive outcomes in an often-challenging environment.


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