Global mission to end violence against women
23 November 2016
Defence’s ongoing commitment to cultural change has been honoured in a landmark event in Canberra as the world prepares to mark White Ribbon Day this week.
The co-founder of the White Ribbon global movement, Dr Michael Kaufman, was today welcomed to Canberra and given the opportunity to see for himself how Defence is working to transform attitudes, change behaviours and eliminate violence against women.
Speaking to a Defence audience at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), Dr Kaufman said the ADF was creating history.
“It is the first defence force in the world that has gone through such a systematic program to address issues around violence, responses to violence, and how to create healthier workplace gender relations,” Dr Kaufman said.
“Other armed forces have done bits and pieces but when you think about how far it has come, the ADF is an inspiration to the rest of the world.”
Also in attendance was the CEO of White Ribbon Australia, Libby Davies who said the ADF was to proving to be a leader in driving cultural change.
“Defence recognises that, as a microcosm of society, its members need to be agents of change, walking alongside others to drive awareness, to break the silence, and to put in place the tools that will help men and women eradicate men’s violence against women,” Ms Davies said.
The event marks one year since the Australian Army, Air Mobility Group and ADFA officially received White Ribbon workplace accreditation, joining the Royal Australian Navy and other areas of the Defence organisation that had previously been accredited and recognised for their efforts in driving cultural change.
Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs said that while Defence was not a perfect organisation, by facing up to issues and accepting responsibility positive change was being achieved.
“White Ribbon is about accepting that everyone has the capacity to be a leader on this issue and take responsibility,” VADM Griggs said.
“Our commitment to White Ribbon is anything but a mere symbolic gesture; it is about standing up for what is right and doing what is best for the organisation and our people.
“I continue to be amazed at the level of commitment demonstrated across Defence by people who refuse to shy away from the reality of violence against women by pledging to stand up, speak out and act to prevent such cowardly acts.”
White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end men’s violence against women and girls, promote gender equality and create a new vision of masculinity. As part of this, White Ribbon Australia’s vision is a nation that respects women, in which every woman lives in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse.
Imagery from the event will be available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20162994