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Ambassador Q&A: Phil Malligan

Phil Malligan
October/November 2016

Long-serving White Ribbon Ambassador Phil Malligan, whose professional role within the NSW Police, has fuelled his personal dedication towards preventing men’s violence against women in his community.

What is your day job?

I’m a Police Officer within the NSW Police Force, in my 28th year. My substantive role is a Detective Sergeant within the Wagga Wagga Local Area Command, where along with two other Detective Sergeant’s I manage an Office of around 20 detectives, who investigate a cross section of crime within the Command, in the largest inland city of NSW. I am currently Acting Inspector for the Wagga Wagga Local Area Command.

How long have you been a White Ribbon Ambassador?

I have been a White Ribbon Ambassador since 2008.

Why did you decide to become an Ambassador?

Between 2003 and 2011, I was working on the Mid North Coast of NSW within the Child Abuse Squad, which is attached to the State Crime Command, a specialist area of the NSW Police Force. During this time, I worked closely with both the Department of Family and Community Services and Community Health Services, which were both instrumental in the protection and ongoing care and assistance to children falling victim to abuse.

I was nominated by the counselors within Community Health at Port Macquarie due to the work that I was doing to curb the rise of family and domestic violence. It was extremely humbling to be nominated as a White Ribbon Ambassador, and something that I take a lot of pride in when I am wearing my Ambassadors pin.

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

Since being promoted to Sergeant, relocating to Wagga Wagga and working back within a Local Area Command, I started to deal with a larger cross-section of the community, and more so with the ongoing reports of Family and Domestic Violence that we were attending within a Local Area Command.

In 2012 we commenced a White Ribbon Day Men’s Forum, where we invited men from different areas of the community, business, clubs, and men’s groups, schools including both male teachers and students, to hear how various male role models showed leadership in their respective organisations. These Men’s Forums got larger each year, with this year’s event being a community Ball for 300 guests, to raise funds to target the issue of Family and Domestic Violence.

I’m very proud to say that I was nominated as the Chairman of the organising committee of the inaugural Wagga Wagga White Ribbon Gala Ball, which is being held at the Wagga RSL Club on the night of White Ribbon Day the 25th November. Funds from this Ball, will not only go towards the great work that White Ribbon is doing every day, but also the local Wagga Women’s Health Centre, who assist displayed women and children, that have had to relocate from the family home due to Family and Domestic Violence. The Ball committee is fully made up of males from across the Wagga Wagga community, within the Emergency Services, the Australian Defence Forces and various other community groups.

I also regularly attend and speak to various groups, organisations, the ADF, as well as students in schools, on the message that White Ribbon sends. I have a close working relationship with the local media of Wagga Wagga including, print, TV and radio, where I am able to inform the community on what new strategies police are implementing to better investigate reports of DV, through lobbying of the NSW State Government for changes in legislation.

Why is Gender Equality important to you as an Ambassador?

The NSW Police Force has a staffing strength of over 16,000 operational police officers with women making up 35% of the staff. I feel the gender equality with the Police has increased dramatically during my period of service. The NSW Police Force have the opportunities to demonstrate significant leadership in addressing this issue, as we continue to push towards being recognised as an accredited White Ribbon workplace. The NSW Police Force continues to improve our workplace polices which target gender equality, attitudes and behaviours towards women, while always encouraging the highest ethical standards.

Gender equality is an important through all workplaces, as well as the community as a whole.

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

To continue to highlight the need for cultural change on the issue of Family and Domestic Violence through my engagement with the Wagga Wagga community in my role as a Police Officer, working with men with a focus on our culturally diverse communities, to better respect women, while endorsing the message in which an Ambassador of White Ribbon sends. Through this work help to reduce the reports of DV and violence towards women and to spread the message that no violence towards women is accepted under any circumstances.

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