ACROSS the Bass Coast Shire, businesses and individuals have been showing their support for the White Ribbon foundation, by working to encourage Australian men to speak up against domestic violence against women.
White Ribbon Australia engages men to highlight the role they can play alongside women to stop violence against women.
The Bass Coast Shire Council has recently been accredited as a White Ribbon Workplace, and was presented with their accreditation on White Ribbon Day on Friday, November 25.
In the past 18 months, the council and its staff have had to demonstrate effective leadership, resource allocation, communication, human resources policy development and training to create a safer and more respectful workplace.
Staff at the shire had to demonstrate that they understood why men’s violence against women is a workplace issue, and how to work to help one another if affected by domestic violence.
The council’s submission was assessed by two independent White Ribbon workplace assessors.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, said the council receiving three Outstanding Achievement ratings was the icing on the cake.
“We are very proud to have received Outstanding Achievement ratings for our External Communications, including the #ChalkItUp campaign council ran for White Ribbon Day in 2015, as well as for Staff Training, and Managers and Supervisors Training,” Cr Rothfield said.
“Accreditation is for three years and during this time we will continue our commitment to gender equality and supporting employees to be more respectful across all spheres.”
Cr Rothfield said in Australia, one in three women has experienced physical or sexual assault in her lifetime; however incidents of family violence in Bass Coast are higher than the state average.
“These women are our mothers, girlfriends, wives, daughters, colleagues and friends,” Cr Rothfield said.
“Council is one of the largest employers in the shire, and our female employees make up 58 per cent of staff. We want to lead the conversation about domestic violence and continue to raise awareness in our community.”
Phillip Island Nature Parks was also accredited as a White Ribbon Workplace.
“As an accredited White Ribbon Workplace, the Nature Parks recognises violence against women as a serious and preventable issue in Australia, and demonstrates a culture of zero tolerance of violence towards women,” said Jarvis Weston, Ranger in Charge of Environment and member of the Nature Parks’ White Ribbon committee.
“The year-long accreditation process has provided us with many opportunities to strengthen our stance in relation to violence against women, and equip staff with the knowledge and skills to address issues of violence against women, both inside and outside the workplace.”
White Ribbon Australia works through a prevention approach to stop violence against women before it happens.
“Men are central to this, and we will support them to work alongside women to demand social change,” Jarvis said.
“Through education, awareness-raising and creative campaigns, prevention programs and partnerships, we highlight the positive role men play in this social movement and support them to stand up, speak out and act to stop men’s violence against women.”
For more information, visit the White Ribbon Website at www.whiteribbon.org.au
Bass Coast says no to domestic violence