Bridging the gap of awareness

Published on LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (author and photographer), LEUT Kiz Burtenshaw (author)

Location(s): Canberra, ACT

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, amongst Defence personnel walking around Lake Burley Griffin in support of White Ribbon. 
  (photo: ABIS Lee-Anne Mack)
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, amongst Defence personnel walking around Lake Burley Griffin in support of White Ribbon.

The largest White Ribbon accredited organisation, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), continues to support Australia's campaign to stop violence against women.

On 17 October over 500 Defence people from Canberra walked and ran around Lake Burley Griffin to raise awareness for the male-led movement.

The annual five kilometre, Bridge-to-Bridge Fun Run was founded three years ago in support of the White Ribbon Campaign.

Canberra’s recent cold snap did not deter participants, with the Navy commitment to support White Ribbon clear as a sea of white ribbons traversed the course between the Commonwealth Avenue and Kings Avenue bridges.

Chief of Navy and White Ribbon Ambassador, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, was among the attendees, supporting Navy people undertaking the walk.

“I’m particularly proud that Navy, as an accredited workplace, is at the forefront of the national campaign to end violence against women’’, Vice Admiral Barrett said.

The Royal Australian Navy has been associated with White Ribbon for a number of years and June 2014, the RAN became the largest Australian organisation to achieve accreditation.

The White Ribbon campaign clearly aligns with the Navy values of Honour, Honesty, Courage, Integrity and Loyalty and Navy is committed to promoting White Ribbon initiatives and is now partnered with the organisation.

“Violence against women is both a human rights and workplace issue. Taking a stand against it is entirely in keeping with Navy values and Signature Behaviours,” he said.

Stephen Carter, the National Manager for White Ribbon, also attended. He was extremely pleased with the level of support from Navy, specifically give to providing education and awareness to all of its members on the issues of domestic and workplace abuse.
 
“On average, one woman is killed every week in Australia as a result of intimate partner violence. Events like the ADF Fun Run are extremely important in creating greater community awareness of this insidious problem” Mr Carter said.

On 7 November, Royal Australian Navy members in Sydney will gather for a world record attempt paper boat race to again raise awareness for White Ribbon.

White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male led campaign to end men’s violence against women. The campaign works through primary prevention initiatives that involve awareness raising, education, and programs with youth, schools, workplaces, and across the broader community.