25 July is the day designated by White Ribbon to get the word out, to get together, to raise funds for the White Ribbon campaign and to raise awareness of the issue of violence against women in Australia.
HMAS Albatross held a morning tea in support of the campaign and Executive Officer Commander Gary Holgate welcomed personnel saying the main aim in getting everyone together was to start a conversation.
“In the last 12 months in the local area 315 women have experienced some form of domestic violence,” Commander Holgate said.
“That’s an especially troubling statistic when you consider that it is just a small part of a widespread problem.”
“Domestic violence occurs across Australia, in all parts of society, regardless of geographic location, socio-economic status or cultural background and we as Navy need to ensure we do something about it.”
Albatross's Commanding Officer, Captain Simon Bateman, said one of the central messages of the White Ribbon campaign was that individual men taking action in their daily lives to challenge men’s violence against women can make a difference and that the question of How can I be part of the solution? was an important one to consider.
“There is a saying, the only thing needed for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing," Captain Bateman said.
“We need to demonstrate that is not the case with us.”
Leading Seaman Jaylene Byrne not only attended the morning tea where she sold white ribbons and raffle tickets, but held a fundraising barbecue and trivia get-together at her home that evening.
“I had over 25 attend plus 10 children, so we certainly continued the conversation.
“I have no personal experience of domestic violence in my own life but I was motivated to help to show support for an organisation that is focussed on empowering women.”
Leading Seaman Byrne said she was overwhelmed by the response she received.
"Local businesses donated some fantastic prizes for the raffles and support from Albatross personnel was also fantastic, we managed to raise $1,445.00.”
“I hope my efforts help the White Ribbon organisation in the great work they do.
“The statistics we heard at the morning tea really struck a chord, especially later when were all gathered, safe and happy at my house, and it occurred to me that not everyone’s home life is like that."