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Stand Up, Speak Out and Act on White Ribbon Day

Southern Grampians Shire Council and Western District Health Service (WDHS) have once again joined forces to
help raise awareness of White Ribbon Australia’s work to end men’s violence against women.

The Greater Hamilton community are encouraged to attend a luncheon being held in Hamilton on Thursday
November 23 in recognition of White Ribbon Day. The event, held at Alexandra House, will feature an address
from Victoria Police Superintendent, Peter Greaney who will provide both local and international perspectives on
family violence and a presentation from Natalie Russell, VicHealth Principal Program Officer, who will discuss
VicHealth’s work in supporting a whole of community approach to family violence.

All funds raised from ticket sales will be donated directly back to White Ribbon.

Chief Executives Michael Tudball and Rohan Fitzgerald said they are pleased to be working together to highlight
this important issue and help challenge attitudes and behaviours that unfortunately still exist in our community.

“Devastatingly, over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week in Australia as a result of intimate
partner violence. In the Southern Grampians Shire, there were 378 reported incidents of family violence in
2015/16 – that’s more than one a day,” Rohan Fitzgerald WDHS Chief Executive said.

“Violence against women arises from a complex interaction of social factors. Our role as large public institutions is
to identify primary prevention strategies that address this multifaceted problem, to help promote healthier
relationships in our community.

“We are holding this event to help break the silence and raise awareness around violence against women and
more importantly mobilise the community to address this serious issue. This is one of a number of strategies that
our organisation participates in to build individuals’ capacity and the ability of our community as a whole, to stand
up and speak out.

“Hopefully our participation in events like White Ribbon Day sends a clear message about our commitment to
lasting change around the issue of violence against women in the Southern Grampians Shire and gives cause for
our community to reflect for a moment on women that have been harmed or killed by violence locally and
nationally,” Rohan Fitzgerald said.

Council CEO Michael Tudball says we all have a role to play to stop violence against women.

“Violence against women is never a private issue. It impacts not only women but also families and the wider
community. Silence and inaction will let this violence continue.

“We want people to know that it is violence against women is unacceptable, it is never the victim’s fault, help is
always available and if you see something you should definitely say something. People need to know that they
can make a difference; bringing an end to men’s violence against women will take a whole of community
approach,” Mr Tudball said.

“Residents and visitors to Hamilton will notice a display at the Melville Oval gates from next week – one white
ribbon for each of the 378 incidents of family violence reported in our Shire in the 2015/16 year. We hope this
visual representation of the issue in our region brings home the magnitude of the problem we are facing. It’s not
just something that happens in the metro areas, it’s happening here and now.

“The white ribbon campaign is a means for men to speak out against violence against women. It’s also about
challenging the attitudes and behaviours of a minority of men who objectify, sexually vilify or use and condone
violence against women. It’s about not turning a blind-eye to these behaviours and attitudes towards women and
speaking up instead. We know that domestic violence is strongly linked to an imbalance of power and respect
between men and women - and that we all have a role to play in driving change in this area. It’s up to us,” Mr
Tudball said.

Tickets for the lunch, being held next Thursday 23 November at Alexandra House, are $35 and can be purchased
online at or by calling 5551 8540.

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