In 1999 the United Nations proclaimed 25 November to be White Ribbon Day. Sixteen years on, White Ribbon is a global, male-led movement that seeks to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to and perpetuate men’s violence against women, by engaging boys and men to lead social change.
As a proud White Ribbon accredited workplace since 2013, more than 250 staff from across campus came together at a special lunch time event in Marxine’s Courtyard last Wednesday 25 November, to mark White Ribbon Day and show support for the national campaign.
Guest speakers included Professor Sakkie Pretorius, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research); Wendy Shepherd, Director of Mia Mia Child Study Centre, Institute of Early Childhood; and Adam Joyce from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and President of the Macquarie University Rugby Club.
It was apparent from the moving speeches made, the matter of domestic violence is one close to the heart, with many impacted by this global issue. The diversity of the speakers also highlighted the willingness for all areas of Macquarie community to come together to raise awareness and lead change as a workplace.
“As one of the world’s first accredited White Ribbon Workplaces, Macquarie is committed to being a leader in the prevention of violence against women and the promotion of respectful relationships in our workplace and community,” said Nicole Gower, Director of Human Resources and MC at the event.
As part of the event, Nicole announced new guidelines and online resources now available for staff about domestic violence prevention and support, furthering Macquarie’s commitment to create a positive and supportive workplace environment in which staff members who are affected feel comfortable requesting assistance and confident of receiving support.