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Ambassador Q&A: Andrew Nikolic

Andrew Nikolic AM CSC
June 2016

White Ribbon Ambassador, former Member for Bass Andrew Nikolic AM CSC, has been actively raising awareness about the Campaign both at a local and federal level.

What is your day job?

I’m the former Federal Member for the Tasmanian electorate of Bass, which encompasses Launceston as the biggest city and extends across North-East Tasmania.

How long have you been a White Ribbon Ambassador?

Approximately five years.

Why did you decide to become an Ambassador?

The reason why I became a White Ribbon Ambassador was because growing up, I saw firsthand the damage that violence against women can cause to families and communities.  As the father of two daughters, I want to ensure that they and other women have the opportunity to flourish in an environment of equality and respect.

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

I have spoken of my support for the White Ribbon campaign in the Federal Parliament, at schools in my electorate, and at other forums. I also participate in and support a range of local activities undertaken on White Ribbon Days.  Apart from window displays, banners and functions, our Launceston group has a ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ event. Men make the effort to walk in ladies heels in the Launceston CBD – quite literally, walking a mile in a woman’s shoes!  The activity helps generates awareness of White Ribbon objectives.

Why is Gender Equality important to you as an Ambassador?

As an Ambassador I believe it is simply unacceptable that one in three Australian women over the age of 15 has reported experiencing physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives.  We know it is a small number of men who are the perpetrators of domestic violence and the majority of men can have a beneficial influence on the minority.  That means accentuating the role men should play in loving, respectful and equal relationships with women.  It also means speaking out against violence and other behaviors that diminish equality.

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

As an Ambassador I will play my part in what is a growing collective commitment across Australia never to excuse violence against women.  That includes participation in the White Ribbon Campaign, with a particular focus on culturally and linguistically diverse communities.  As the former Member for Bass, I will also continue to advocate for the resources needed to fund the education and awareness goals contained in the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Children 2010-2022.

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