Former White Ribbon committee plans new initiative
THE FORMER Queensland and Sunshine Coast Chairs of the White Ribbon Committee will be joining forces to create a new anti-domestic violence initiative in the region.
USC academic Dr Greg Nash was last year appointed the role of Queensland chair of White Ribbon Australia before it went into liquidation.
Although Dr Nash said it was great that White Ribbon was being saved from liquidation just one month after announcing they were shutting down, he said the Sunshine Coast committee would still go ahead with plans to create their own initiative.
"I was upset that White Ribbon did go into liquidation, but it also gave me the opportunity to really focus on the Sunshine Coast region," Dr Nash said.
"It's a positive that White Ribbon has come back to give that national and state co-ordination back to domestic violence prevention activities.
"But the Sunshine Coast former White Ribbon committee is going to be taking a different approach going forward."
Former Chair of the Sunshine Coast White Ribbon Committee, Sunshine Coast District Officer Superintendent Darryl Johnson, said under the previous White Ribbon banner, the Sunshine Coast had a committee comprising of community members who were all true believers in wanting to make a difference in changing culture, attitudes and behaviour around domestic violence.
"So, while White Ribbon was about men's violence against women, this committee took a more liberal view on that and spoke about all types of domestic violence and violence in general," Supt Johnson said.
"There was great support from community groups and especially both councils here on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Sunshine Coast.
"This committee was leading the way across the country with some of the strategies and community engagement that was happening."
Supt Johnson said the committee had started a sporting club trial with five sporting clubs on the Sunshine Coast to get the message out that domestic violence was not appropriate.
"So, to do that in the sporting clubs we thought there was an opportunity to really focus in on our youth. We looked at how we might provide the influencers in those clubs with the skills to correct any behaviours they saw and to highlight the fact that they are leaders.
"So that was going really well and we had significant buy in from all of the clubs, including branding on jerseys and everything like that.
"Unfortunately, White Ribbon went into liquidation and only this week we had a networking event that brought together some of our key community leaders and also both Councils and government agencies, to have a conversation about whether the Sunshine Coast had a will to continue the strategy in a different format.
"There's no doubt the sentiment in the room on Wednesday was one of extreme positivity and there's a real will out there to have consistent messaging for our community."
Supt Johnson said going forward, that key members would look at getting an executive committee together to look at branding and a logo for the initiative.
"We look to hopefully continue with our sporting clubs and expand on that and hopefully play a part on changing the attitudes in our culture around violence," he said.
"It's something that we've got to act on quickly and get it right."