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Prime Minister says this is about respect and big cultural change

November 24 2016 By The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, MP, Prime Minister of Australia

This speech was delivered on Wednesday 23 November 2016 at Parliament House, Canberra.

Well thank you very much Tara and it's - it is great to follow Lucy because Luce at the White Ribbon function this morning I quoted you extensively as I did in the Parliament. You are the first person that I have heard so emphatically, and so keenly nail this big cultural challenge that we face.

Yes, all of us as politicians and legislators, governments, would-be governments, oppositions - all of us are committed to this change. We all are. But we also have to change attitudes. I'll just repeat it again what you said so wisely, some years ago, you said that we all have a solemn obligation to bring up our sons and our grandsons to respect the women in their lives, their mothers and their sisters, generally in the first instance. That is something that starts at a very early stage.

I believe, thanks to organisations like Our Watch, thanks to ambassadors Tara like you that have been - you're able to bring such a powerful and eloquent testament to this. Your testimony has such an high impact and all of our ambassadors have done this, have to call for all Australians is now for zero tolerance, and we have our measures, we have our campaigns, we have the Stop It at the Start video campaign that we talked about earlier today which I think was enormously, enormously effective. Because, it represented scenes we've all been participants in, observers of, we've all seen it and it was one of the most effective YouTube campaigns. I would say just a reminder of how effective that was, this is what happens when you absolutely nail it, as you did Luce with the point you made about cultural change with starting very young. That campaign had more than 37 million views on YouTube; it's the most watched advertisement at the time it was released. You've got to imagine there's a lot of competition in the video space online.

So, what we're seeing is a real sea change in that cultural approach, it is changing but we have to keep at it. We have to be relentless.

So I want to congratulate Our Watch, Natasha and your colleagues at Our Watch. I want to congratulate you and your ambassadors. I know that Bill and I and all of the politicians here, despite our occasional disagreement over matters of state, are on a complete unity ticket with respect to saying no, absolutely no - zero tolerance to violence against women and children.

We are able, I am very confident, to have a big cultural change in our country and what a change it will be.

What a change it will be.

So congratulations to Our Watch and I'm honoured to be here as usual, quoting Lucy on this matter because her insights have been so keen and I mean the other point that we both make and again Luce made it first, was just that again that simple insight that not all disrespecting women leads to violence against women, but believe me - that's where all violence against women begins.

So this is about respect, it's about a big cultural change - Our Watch is doing a great job in leading us to that.

Thank you very much.

This speech was delivered on Wednesday 23 November 2016 at Parliament House, Canberra. 

Media contact:

Hannah Grant, Media and Ambassador Program Manager, Our Watch: 0448 844 930 or hannah.grant@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.”

Read guides for reporting about violence against women and their children.

About Our Watch

Our Watch’s purpose is to raise awareness and engage policy-makers and the Australian community in action to prevent violence against women and their children.

To do this the organisation works to increase gender equality and respect in all aspects of everyday life, such as through schools; workplaces; media; sporting organisations; social marketing, and developing and influencing public policy.

Our Watch’s work derives from the government’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and gives expression to many of the activities in the Second Action Plan 2013–2016 – Moving Ahead.