Australian Charity of the Month – White Ribbon Australia
~ June 2018
White Ribbon Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that works through a primary prevention approach in schools, workplaces and communities across Australia. Through their programs and campaigns, they engage with men to be part of the social change needed to prevent men’s violence against women. Our Australian Charity of the Month – White Ribbon Australia
Every story and every organisation has a beginning. As a young, female university student in Canada at the time of the École Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, I well remember the feeling of shock, horror and disbelief at the events that unfolded on December 6, 1989. For those not familiar with one of Canada’s largest mass murders in the recent history of the nation, the gunman entered a classroom and ordered the men to leave. After claiming that he was “fighting feminism” and calling the women “a bunch of feminists,” he shot all nine women in the room, killing six. He then moved through the school, specifically targeting women to shoot. Overall, he killed fourteen women, injured ten other women and four men before turning the gun on himself.*
The massacre stunned the nation and brought the awareness of violence against women to the forefront of Canadians social conscience. The tragic massacre of the 14 young women spurred many campaigns to end male violence and there was much international solidarity.* Often it takes a tragedy to seek a remedy. Such was the genesis of White Ribbon.*
White Ribbon was formed by a group of pro-feminist men in London, Ontario in November 1991 as a response to the École Polytechnique massacre. The campaign was intended to raise awareness about the prevalence of male violence against women, with the ribbon symbolizing “the idea of men giving up their arms.”* Today, White Ribbon is active in over 60 countries and the movement continues to seek to promote healthy relationships, gender equity, and a compassionate vision of masculinity.*
The aim of White Ribbon is to create an Australian society where all women can live in safety, free from violence and abuse. Their purpose, to engage men to make women’s safety a man’s issue too.
By engaging with the community, White Ribbon Australia works through a primary prevention approach in schools and workplaces, providing education, raising awareness, delivering creative campaigns and preventative programs across Australia.
The recent partnership announcement with AFL Victoria, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility program, will create numerous opportunities for White Ribbon Australia to work alongside the league to address the issue of men’s violence against women that is prevalent within Australia.The partnership will bring together clubs across the state participating in White Ribbon Rounds throughout the season in order to increase awareness to players, staff and supporters.*
As our Charity of the Month, we aim to assist White Ribbon in their continued efforts to support their educational programs, services and advocacy for gender equality and primary prevention.
To learn more about our Australian Charity of the Month – White Ribbon Australia visit their website.
Expressions of Interest are now open for the 2018 Breaking the Silence Program (an award-winning professional learning initiative for principals and teachers) LEARN MORE >>
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