HMAS Melbourne’s White Ribbon Day

Published on LEUT Andrew Ragless (author)

Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Chef James Elliot and Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Ashlee Sherriff with the 'White Ribbon' cake prior to an afternoon tea on HMAS Melbourne in the Middle East Area of Operations. (photo: ABIS Jayson Tufrey)
Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Chef James Elliot and Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Ashlee Sherriff with the 'White Ribbon' cake prior to an afternoon tea on HMAS Melbourne in the Middle East Area of Operations.

Taking a break from busy operations in the Middle East, HMAS Melbourne’s ship’s company gathered to reinforce the message that violence against women must end.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Melbourne, Commander Brian Schlegel, said he hoped none of the Ship’s Company, or any other Australian female, would be able to relate first-hand to the issue.

“Unfortunately it is a stark reality that violence perpetrated by men against women does exist,” he said.

“It is unacceptable and today is an opportunity to pause for genuine reflection and to seize an opportunity as Navy members to lead by example.”

White Ribbon Australia is a non-profit organisation and Australia's only national male-led primary prevention campaign to end violence against women.

Through primary prevention initiatives and an annual campaign, White Ribbon Australia 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.

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Melbourne is currently deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation SLIPPER, the Australian Defence Force contribution to the international campaign against terrorism.

HMAS Melbourne commenced maritime security operations in the area on September 24 including support to the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) for the conduct of maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and the waters around the Horn of Africa. CMF provides coordination to a 29-nation maritime force in order to defeat terrorism, prevent piracy, and encourage regional cooperation and ongoing maritime security.