Ambassador Q&A: Keith Shangare
White Ribbon Ambassador Keith Shangare brings to the role a breadth of experience from his role as Diversity Coordinator in the fight against violence against women.
What is your day job?
I am the State Diversity Coordinator for AFL Queensland. I look after Multicultural, Indigenous and Inclusion programs to drive participation and engagement at the grassroots level for our diverse communities.
How long have you been a White Ribbon Ambassador?
I have been an ambassador since early 2016.
Why did you decide to become an Ambassador?
In 2014, I was approached because the multicultural community in my area was facing issues of domestic violence against women. The conversation we had was about how we could educate the multicultural sector, and engage with them to put a stop to domestic violence against women.
Before accepting the responsibility of being an ambassador, I wanted to make sure I had a complete grasp on the issue.
This is an endemic issue that should be everyone’s business. I strongly believe that it’s an issue that affects everyone and for us to get it right we have to address both sides of the spectrum.
In what ways have you been involved in the White Ribbon Campaign?
I have been working with my colleagues to address this issue and linking in with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. I am currently working with AFL Queensland’s Football Operations department to explore how best to engage our many community clubs in this space.
Why is Gender Equality important to you as an Ambassador?
As an Ambassador I believe that equality has the power to bring people together and it’s very important that everyone is on a level playing field when addressing domestic violence issues. It’s about education; you have got to educate males that it is not okay to abuse your partner, you’ve also got to educate the community that there is a person being killed because of domestic violence every week, so speak out if you know someone who is being abused by their partner.
What goals do you hope to accomplish as an Ambassador in the future?
My future goals as a White Ribbon Ambassador is to assist in developing strategies; with particular insight into diverse communities, educating our AFL community clubs about domestic violence, promoting safe haven coexistence whilst driving new initiatives to further engage on all platforms of the community.
In Queensland, over twenty per cent of the population is born overseas and around 200 languages are spoken every day. I believe it’s crucial that we have strategies that are reflective of society as we combat this major issue.