Navy people make a stand against violence on White Ribbon Day

Published on LEUT Sarah West (author), POIS Phil Cullinan (photographer)

Topic(s): White Ribbon, New Generation Navy (NGN), White Ribbon Day

File image: Members of 816 Squadron display White Ribbons at the Helicopter Support Facility at HMAS Stirling. (photo: LSIS Phillip Cullinan)
File image: Members of 816 Squadron display White Ribbons at the Helicopter Support Facility at HMAS Stirling.

Royal Australian Navy personnel around Australia will sell white ribbons today to mark White Ribbon Day and support the work of the White Ribbon organisation.

White Ribbon is the world's largest male-led movement to end men's violence against women. White Ribbon Australia is a non-profit organisation and Australia's only national, male-led primary prevention campaign to end men’s 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.

The Royal Australian Navy has many White Ribbon ‘ambassadors’ who lead the campaign by living the white ribbon oath: never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

Early this year, Navy further committed to the White Ribbon movement by setting itself the goal of achieving White Ribbon accreditation. The service continues to make great headway towards this objective.

New Generation Navy Program Director, Captain Mark Hill said he was impressed by the degree to which Navy people had embraced the White Ribbon movement.

“It is heartening to see how many in our Navy family have embraced the White Ribbon movement and what it stands for, and we’d expect nothing less of our people.

“The message behind White Ribbon is relevant to all Australians. Whether it’s at home or at work, violence against women impacts their health and safety, productivity and work capacity. For Navy that means our capability is degraded and our ability to achieve our mission is compromised.

“When we do earn full White Ribbon accreditation, it will be because our people have demonstrated genuine commitment to a community that is free of violence against women,” Captain Hill said.

In August this year, the Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force endorsed Defence’s involvement in White Ribbon Day activities across Australia, noting that the aims of the campaign align with the Australian Defence Force’s cultural change program.

White Ribbon activities will be conducted by Defence personnel all week, culminating in a White Ribbon Bridge Run/Walk around Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra on Friday.

Further information is available on the White Ribbon website at