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Victorian workplaces take the lead in preventing violence against women

August 24 2016 By Nicola Harte, Our Watch

The Honourable Fiona Richardson, Victorian Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence today announced that La Trobe University, Connections UnitingCare, Carlton Football Club, and North Melbourne Football Club have committed to preventing violence against women through signing up for the Our Watch Workplace Equality and Respect project.

“Violence against women is a national emergency – more than one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner in Australia,” said Mary Barry, Chief Executive Officer of Our Watch.

“Our Watch leads Australia's work to prevent violence against women and their children.

“As long as women are seen as less equal than men, disrespect and violence against women will continue. 

“Workplaces have great influence over people’s lives and communities, and have an opportunity to help drive the cultural change needed to prevent violence against women and their children.

“An increasing number of workplaces are keen to be involved in this work and have approached Our Watch for assistance.

“We are encouraged by the commitment shown by these four high profile organisations to promote gender equality and respect in their workplaces,” said Ms Barry.

The Our Watch standards developed through this project will guide this work in all organisations by:

  • Promoting women’s participation and opportunities.
  • Challenging violence supportive attitudes, gender stereotypes and roles.
  • Thinking critically about structures that might reinforce inequality.The standards will be accompanied by supporting resources, which will be freely available to all workplaces and practitioners from May 2017.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Women Fiona Richardson:

“Actions speak louder than words. Many of us spend much of our lives at work – they need to be places where women are safe, respected and treated as equals.”

“Equality is not negotiable, but it will take CEOs, chairmen of boards, and senior leaders to truly change our workplace culture and help us make the lives of women and their children safer.”

Quotes attributable to Steven Trigg, Chief Executive Officer, Carlton Football Club:

“Carlton Football Club is committed to being accountable when it comes to gender equality in the workplace -- we recognise that as a sports club and a workplace we have an important role to play in promoting equality and addressing the key drivers of violence against women.”

“Through this project, we’re keen to continue building cultures and norms at Carlton which challenge sexism and make sure that actions and attitudes that support gender equality are recognised and rewarded.”

Quotes attributable to Carl Dilena, CEO, North Melbourne Football Club:

"We are committed to an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment for all.”
“We’re proud to be part of one of the first gender equity strategies in Australian sport and aim to change behaviours that contribute to gender inequality and trivialise violence against women.”

Quotes attributable to Professor Keith Nugent, Deputy Vice Chancellor, La Trobe University:

“We know that there are people within our University community who have been affected by violence, which is why I have chosen to make eliminating violence one of my top priorities. I am determined to provide staff and students with a safe and supportive environment in which to work and study.”

“In partnership with Our Watch we will review and deliver best practice policy, procedures and education for staff. The focus is on Frontline service areas to help equip our staff with the knowledge, capability and resources necessary to provide high level support, respond to drivers of violence, and identify risk factors to engage with people to eliminate violence.”

Quotes attributable to Trish Chapman, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Connections UnitingCare:

“Connections UnitingCare is excited to be one of four organisations selected to participate in the Workplace equality and respect project.  As a service provider and an employer of over 400 staff, we are committed to working with Our Watch to ensure we are doing everything we can to promote gender equality and respect for women.” 

“To prevent violence against women, we, as a community, need to change our culture and we see this as a great opportunity to be part of a broader community strategy working towards this goal.”

Media contact

For enquiries or further information: Nicola Harte, Our Watch, mobile 0432 637 933, email nicola.harte@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.”

About Our Watch 

Our Watch’s (previously the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children) purpose is to raise awareness and engage the community in action to prevent violence against women and their children.
Our Watch was conceived of and brought into existence in 2013 by the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Victoria. The Northern Territory, South Australian, Tasmanian, Queensland and Australian Capital Territory governments have also since become members of the organisation.
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.