Recently, White Ribbon Ambassadors of the Australian Capital Territory gathered in the Academy Cadet’s Mess at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) to engage with one another and discuss current issues Australia faces in relation to violence against women.
The guest speaker for the presentation, former AFL star Luke Ablett, spoke about issues he has faced as a representative of an anti-violence against women Non-Governmental Organisation in Vanuatu, such as fighting a culture of acceptance of violence against women in the region.
Mr Ablett also spoke about ways in which everyone can hope to reduce violence against women and how White Ribbon Ambassadors can employ themselves in their representational duties to promulgate the strongest anti-violence message.
"Although everyone is responsible for ensuring violence against women is nullified, the statistics point to males as the most common aggressors on the subject. It is therefore upon our shoulders to improve our awareness on the matter and do everything in our power to ensure we do not allow incidents to occur,” Mr Ablett said.
Mr Ablett emphasised that we should not be content with a culture of inaction and ignorance.
"It is not enough to simply state that we do not commit violence against women and therefore say we have done our bit and shouldn't be bothered to act.”
Also in attendance at the event were senior representatives of the three Service Chiefs, as well as the Commandant of ADFA, Air Commodore Alan Clements, Chief Instructor, Lieutentant Colonel Michelle McGuinness, and Executive Officer Undergraduates, Commander Doug Griffiths, who is himself a White Ribbon Ambassador.
"The White Ribbon message resonates with the Academy undergraduate body, who see the importance of the campaign and the impact that they can have by taking action and joining the discussion.
"It's important for our future leaders to fully appreciate the importance of not standing idle and taking positive steps to end men’s violence against women," Commander Griffiths said.
This presentation comes only a few weeks after the Royal Australian Navy was recognised as the largest organisation in Australia to achieve White Ribbon Accreditation.
ADFA has set a long term goal to achieve similar accreditation. ADFA’s outlook on the support for White Ribbon’s mission to stop violence against women demonstrates significant progress in the pathway to change and exemplifies the positive attitude of the institution towards cultural change.
Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20141771.