Ambassador Q&A: Simon Earle
CEO and father of two, Simon Earle, shares how his values of gender equality is important in being a White Ribbon Ambassador in his work and in his everyday life.
What is your day job?
For life, I’m a father, someone’s partner, a brother and a son.
At work, I’m the CEO of Maritime Employees Training Ltd (METL), a not-for-profit Group Training Organisation facilitating traineeships for the maritime industry. We work in partnership with employers, the Maritime Union of Australia), Registered Training Organisations, industry bodies and service providers to recruit, employ and provide qualifications to new seafarers.
How long have you been a White Ribbon Ambassador?
It would be coming up to 5 years now.
Why did you decide to become an Ambassador?
I was bought up with values that are pretty much in line with the White Ribbon campaign. I used to get pretty angry about domestic violence, the prevalence of it, the knowledge that it could, and possibly had affected women in my life or women that I knew. There were times where I’d want to do something about it, but had no constructive way, no understanding of how to have any sort of impact. When I was introduced to White Ribbon by Mick Doleman, who showed a lot of passion for the campaign, I was really inspired and saw that becoming an Ambassador would provide a way to personally be part of something that could collectively have an impact and make a change.
In what ways have you been involved in the White Ribbon Campaign?
I got METL involved early on in our existence as a partner organisation and we sponsor and attend events when we can. We were invited and took part in the Workplace Accreditation pilot program which helped us to formalise our values as an organisation through policies and procedures. Our male staff are Ambassadors and female staff are Advocates.
I have spoken at quite a few White Ribbon events at schools and workplaces, attend White Ribbon conferences and workshops to learn more and keep focused on the issue. I was privileged be a included on discussions panels at Macquarie University and the National Family and Domestic Violence Summit to share some of my experiences and what we do in our workplace. I presented the trophy at the AFL White Ribbon Cup one year and led the oath at a Bulldogs NRL game. I have also been involved in some of the media and print campaigns and did a radio interview once. They said I had the perfect face for radio.
Most importantly, I bring the campaign home. I run my own, small primary prevention program with three people: my partner, Emma, our son, Oscar and daughter, Freya. They see how I’m involved campaign and they are really proud. We speak really openly about the issues as a family and I know that Oscar will be respectful in his relationships with women and he’ll stand up. Freya will know what’s appropriate and acceptable and will know that when she stands up, there are plenty of men who will stand with her.
Why is Gender Equality important to you as an Ambassador?
Firstly, equality is important to me as a person and I get a bit disheartened when I see inequality in any shape or form.
The issue of gender equality is important to me as an Ambassador, because if we can address the inequality and the attitudes and structures that perpetuate it, we’ll start to see a stop to the violence that goes with it.
My partner, my mum, my sister, my daughter, should all enjoy the same opportunities and freedoms that I do. All women should.
What goals do you hope to accomplish as an Ambassador in the future?
We’re a small organisation with a relatively small reach. If I can get other organisations that we work with supporting the campaign and increasing that reach, I’d be happy.