Ambassador Q&A: Jarrad Norman-Parker
White Ribbon Ambassador Jarrad Norman-Parker speaks about his journey towards Ambassadorship and the significance he places on the role.
What is your day job?
I am a Public Servant with a WA State Government Department. For 20 years, I’ve served in various positions and have always been passionate about the work, my achievements and the outcomes for Western Australian communities.
How long have you been a White Ribbon Ambassador?
I decided to become a White Ribbon Ambassador in November 2015. My partner and I traveled to Adelaide where I attended the eighth annual White Ribbon Breakfast held at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Guest speakers were Rosie Batty and the South Australian Premier and other South Australian dignitaries. After the breakfast, I was called up on stage to collect my white ribbon and stood proudly alongside other worthy White Ribbon recipients. It was truly an overwhelming, awe-inspiring and nerve-racking encounter, but more importantly, it was a humbling experience to meet Rosie at the end of the event.
Why did you decide to become an Ambassador?
It was Rosie Batty’s heart wrenching story that encouraged me to become an Ambassador. Family and Domestic Violence is close to my heart and certainly a place most of us want to ignore or pretend doesn’t exist. This obscure place is real and thanks to Rosie and her tireless campaign raising awareness against family and domestic violence, we have become less ignorant and more cognizant of the extent of violence against women and children.
Personally speaking, I know how domestic violence can tear families apart. I’ve been there and I’ve seen someone I love hurt as a result of domestic violence. It’s a memory from my childhood I reluctantly yet often rekindle and fail to forget. I’m a White Ribbon Ambassador because I stand up against violence. Violence toward women and above all violence toward children and I stand alongside men and especially women who fight for change. What I consider rewarding is seeing the changes being made through new government initiatives particularly toward perpetrator response programs and being a part of those changes. Currently there is a lot happening in this space in Western Australia.
In what ways have you been involved in the White Ribbon Campaign?
During last month’s White Ribbon’s “Night In” Campaign I raised (from generous donations thanks to friends and family) over $450. My partner and I including colleagues from work enjoyed a few drinks and dinner at one of Perth’s favorite restaurants “Apple Daily”. Although we didn’t talk a great deal about domestic violence, they were there to support me and White Ribbon.
Why is Gender Equality important to you as an Ambassador?
To me gender is not important in human relationships, but If we’re to be clearly defined by our gender, then the human race loses its fundamental right to equality. I strongly believe that communities should take positive steps to promote the right to equality and principles of discrimination and seek to ensure that people are treated with equal dignity and worth. I acknowledge the fact that there is still work to be done here especially when there are definite improvements to be made to Australia’s anti-discrimination laws. It’s important to note that as a White Ribbon Ambassador treating people with dignity and worth defines who I am and those closest to me already know that.
What goals do you hope to accomplish as an Ambassador in the future?
What I would like to accomplish is to talk to young men about what I do and what I’ve experienced as a child and hope they take away with them a clear understanding that domestic violence (in all forms) is wrong and that it could have lifelong consequences and to learn to stand up and say something and not be frightened. But until then, I’ll continue to wear my white ribbon pin proudly to meetings, family and domestic violence events and other occasions so people can see who and what I stand for.