Sydney Navy members 'stand up and speak out' for White Ribbon

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), ABIS Kayla Hayes (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney

Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Paul Gaul, makes a donation in support of White Ribbon Day 2015 before the annual HMAS Penguin Gate to Gate Fun Run.  (photo: ABIS Kayla Hayes)
Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Paul Gaul, makes a donation in support of White Ribbon Day 2015 before the annual HMAS Penguin Gate to Gate Fun Run.

Sailors and officers across Sydney have joined forces to send a clear message to that violence against women is never acceptable.

White Ribbon Day took place yesterday, during the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Concentration Period – the final major naval exercise for 2015. But that didn’t stop bases and ships from holding a variety of activities to raise awareness and funding for the White Ribbon cause.

At HMAS Kuttabul, sailors gathered for a morning tea to discuss what organiser and White Ribbon Ambassador Lieutenant Peter Kenworthy described as a subject that touches every man.  

"The White Ribbon Oath is 'I will stand up and speak out and act to prevent violence against women.'", Lieutenant Kenworthy said. "That was a key focus of our discussion today."

"Domestic violence against women is sometimes an uncomfortable subject to speak out about but each man here today is a woman’s father, her brother or her partner. It’s up to each of us to stand up and to make sure no harm comes to any woman."

Across the harbour, personnel at HMAS Penguin were taking a different approach, combining the 37th Annual Gate to Gate Fun-Run/Power Walk with a White Ribbon Day event.

HMAS Penguin's Commanding Officer, Commander Paul Gall said the White Ribbon campaign was also playing an important role in developing a safe and capable workforce.

"The days of a male dominated workplace are long gone," Commander Gall said. "Now more than ever, Navy prides itself on being an inclusive workplace and we can’t do our jobs anywhere in world without working as a team, regardless of gender."

Navy is proud to be a White Ribbon accredited workplace and activities have taken place across the country to raise awareness and funding for domestic violence against women.

"The Royal Australian Navy has always been an active contributor to the Australian community," Commander Gall said.  "On White Ribbon Day, we join with Australia in supporting a very worthy cause."

Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Paul Gaul, makes a donation in support of White Ribbon Day 2015 before the annual HMAS Penguin Gate to Gate Fun Run.

Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Paul Gaul, makes a donation in support of White Ribbon Day 2015 before the annual HMAS Penguin Gate to Gate Fun Run.