Albatross continues an important conversation

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), ABIS Sarah Ebsworth (photographer)

Location(s): Nowra, New South Wales

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, White Ribbon Day

(L-R) Organiser of White Ribbon Day HMAS Albatross, Chief Petty Officer Christopher Hill, Sue Davies and Louise Williams from the Nowra Domestic Violence Intervention Service, and Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross, Captain Simon Bateman, CSC, RAN at the White Ribbon Day morning tea in the Oasis Mess at HMAS Albatross. (photo: ABIS Sarah Ebsworth)
(L-R) Organiser of White Ribbon Day HMAS Albatross, Chief Petty Officer Christopher Hill, Sue Davies and Louise Williams from the Nowra Domestic Violence Intervention Service, and Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross, Captain Simon Bateman, CSC, RAN at the White Ribbon Day morning tea in the Oasis Mess at HMAS Albatross.

The ship's company of Navy's home of avitation, HMAS Albatross, hosted their annual White Ribbon Day morning tea on 25 November, provoking reflection and debate on the issues surrounding domestic violence.  

This year Sue Davies and Louise Williams from the local Nowra Police Domestic Violence Team presented a sobering range of statistics on the prevalence and impact of domestic violence and the range of programs and support they offer, while Kate Campbell, one of the hundreds of women this service assists ever year, shared her own very personal and harrowing story of surviving domestic abuse.
 
Albatross
 Personnel Manager, Chief Petty Officer Maritime Logistics Personnel Operations Chris Hill coordinated the event and said his motivation came from listening to stories like Kate’s.
 
“I remember attending my first White Ribbon event and how it opened my eyes to the toll domestic violence has physically and mentally on so many personnel, on so many levels,” he said
 
“For me White Ribbon Day is all about a commitment to eliminating domestic violence and that’s a commitment I share. 
"It also highlights the many programs of assistance available and the avenues to bring forward cases of abuse and, most importantly instils the moral courage to do so.”
 

Commanding Officer Albatross, Captain Simon Bateman said that, as one of the largest operational bases in the Navy, it was vital that the team took time out to have conversations that count.
 
“Navy is an accredited White Ribbon organisation, and the cause aligns very much with Navy values and signature behaviours,” Captain Bateman said.

"This opportunity of getting people together once a year to increase awareness and to talk about the impact of violence in the home is an important one.

“I believe more people are speaking out about domestic violence and this is a direct result of this campaign." 

The Fleet Air Arm were also flying the flag for the White Ribbon Day with a Royal Australian Navy Bell 429 helicopter conducting a flyover of Sydney Harbour  to highlight Defence’s commitment to the campaign.
 
Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Chris Smallhorn, said he was pleased to be able support Navy’s commitment to highlighting this important societal issue.
 
“The act of flying the flag also has a symbolic theme to it. The term to ‘fly a flag’ is also an idiom, a phrase that suggests support for an organisation or cause," he said.
 
“Domestic violence and violence against women is wrong at every level of community living and is against our Navy values and the values of our nation. 
 
“It is important that we stand and be counted as ones who will advocate against any form of violence against women. 
 
“White Ribbon Day provides that platform upon which we stand and upon which we may be counted,” Commodore Smallhorn said.