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​Top honours for Our Watch Board members

January 29 2015 By Hannah Grant, Media Relations Officer, Our Watch

The 2015 Australia Day Honours have acknowledged the great achievements of Our Watch Board members Charlie King OAM and Rosemary Calder AM.

Photo of Charlie King and Rosemary Calder Image

Professor Calder was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for her “significant” service to mental health, ageing and the community.

With a career dedicated to implementing strategies for early intervention and primary healthcare, Professor Calder said that she is honoured by the recognition.

“It is personally satisfying to know that I have in some way contributed to changing the way our society does, or does not, respond to the needs of individuals and groups within it,” Professor Calder said.

“The way I think about my career and community activity is that, I have often become engaged with issues, both professionally and personally, that continue to impact on people or communities despite there being good services and investments to manage the problem. 

“For me the obvious response is that we have to work harder, and earlier; and much more needs to be done to prevent or reduce the impact of these issues in the first place.”

Professor Calder stresses that prevention has to be a major investment in our society's response to violence towards women and within families.

“To solely rely on addressing the consequences is to allow violence to continue,” she said. 

“We have examples of successful, long term strategies, particularly in public health, that have changed health risk and damaging behaviours and attitudes - it is essential that we learn from these and work to achieve the same in violence prevention.”

Awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service to broadcast media and the indigenous community, Mr King said he is pleased that Australian people are recognising that working to end violence against women and children is a valued and necessary endeavour.  

“My proudest moments are when I am able to use my position in the media or in the community to make a change,” Mr King said.

“Whether it’s challenging stereotypes about how Aboriginal people are portrayed in the media, encouraging Aboriginal employment, or working with sporting clubs and other men to change attitudes and behaviours to end violence to women and children.

“Ending violence against women and children will only occur when men can change their own attitudes and beliefs about their behaviour and positions of privilege. Men need to be challenged and supported to commit to being part of the solution to family and domestic violence.  

Along with his role as an Our Watch Board member, Charlie founded the NO More to Violence campaign which supports men to take responsibility either personally, or within their sporting club or code, to understand what it means to create safe communities.  

“Broad cultural change in our community can occur,” he said 

“I firmly believe that governments and corporates need to support and invest in primary prevention initiatives if they are serious about creating a future where women and children in Australia can live lives free from violence.”