Council hosts White Ribbon event

Issued Monday 27 November 2017

White Ribbon Day 2017
The City of Casey marked White Ribbon Day with a community event to stand strong against violence against women in the local area.

On Friday 24 November, Council hosted an event to reaffirm its stance against an issue which affects the local community on many levels – family and gender based violence.

Guest speakers included Bernie Geary OAM, a former Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People and Victoria’s first Child Safety Commissioner, as well as two speakers from the AFL’s Ladder program – Victorian State Manager Leigh Kennedy and Karen Paxman, AFLW footballer. The ladder program aims to break the cycle of youth homelessness.

The speakers shone a light on the role that men can play in reducing family violence, and how they can help to lower the statistics which are unfortunately high in the City of Casey.

City of Casey Deputy Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon welcomed the community to the event, and urged everyone to model appropriate and respectful behaviour, and stand up in the fight against family violence.

“Right now, the City of Casey has a consistently higher rate of family violence incidents per 100,000 in comparison to the Southern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne, and to Victoria overall,” she said.

“We are here to stand against this type of violence, and to speak out when we see it happening in our community, so we can all act together to ensure this doesn’t continue to happen.

“There isn’t an easy fix – nor is it one small part of the community that is affected.

“The issue is generational, it is across all ages, cultures and ethnicities, and we as a community must confront it head on.”

The community event was held in the Bunjil Place Plaza, with ‘The Locker Room’ a major feature of the event. The Locker Room is an interactive exhibit which uses art to provoke thought and stimulate conversation about family violence.

Cr Stapledon said this event was about calling on the men of Casey.

 “Today is about calling out sexist behaviour, it is about ensuring that men who want to commit acts of violence against women do not feel validated or supported by other men,” she said.

“It’s also about supporting those who experience violence, including young people, who through no fault of their own, are damaged by the acts of family violence.”

The City of Casey has just endorsed its first Family Violence Prevention Strategy and a three-year action plan which will now undergo community consultation to obtain feedback about Council’s approach. Council will soon employ its first Family Violence Prevention Officer, who will be tasked with implementing this bold plan within the community.
Council also installed street banners and flags across Casey in the lead up to White Ribbon Day to further demonstrate Council’s stance against family violence.

If you would like to sign the White Ribbon pledge or find out more information, visit the White Ribbon Australia website.