Navy completes 'step one' to White Ribbon accreditation

Published on CMDR Andrew Schroder (author), ABIS Chantell Bianchi (photographer)

Topic(s): White Ribbon

A White Ribbon pin displayed in the hands of a Navy member as part of International White Ribbon Day. (photo: ABIS Chantell Bianchi)
A White Ribbon pin displayed in the hands of a Navy member as part of International White Ribbon Day.

The Chief of Navy (CN), Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, recently reminded Navy people that violence against women is a significant issue that required all sectors of the Australian community to take action to prevent. Because of its importance, Navy participates in ‘White Ribbon’ - a male led movement to end violence against women.

In August, CN took this a step further saying “I am fully committed to Navy becoming a White Ribbon accredited workplace through participation in a pilot program due for completion by the end of this year.”

The important first stage of this process required completion of a whole of Navy survey to gain a baseline understanding of Navy's perceptions regarding violence against women. The survey closed on 30 August by which time Navy’s response rate represented 31.4 per cent of its workforce. A White Ribbon spokesperson confirmed that “Navy's response rate is the highest, both in percentage of workforce terms and in actual volume, of all organisations seeking White Ribbon accreditation.”

While the survey results are still being analysed, CN said that the survey response supported his impression that that Navy people understood that “whether it's at home or at work, violence against women impacts on women's health and safety, productivity and work capacity. For Navy that means our capability is degraded and our ability to achieve our mission is compromised.”

CN said that “The response to the survey was excellent. It tells me that Navy people have grasped the importance of this issue and are supporting the White Ribbon accreditation initiative. Step two is now underway and we'll keep our people informed of its progress. In the meantime to all those who completed the survey I say ‘Bravo Zulu’.”