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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Prominent Australian men join White Ribbon Campaign

A number of high profile Australian men including entertainers Wil Anderson and Andrew Denton supported the White Ribbon Day ceremony hosted by Senator Kay Patterson, the Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, at Parliament House today.

Also known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, White Ribbon Day is marked on 25 November and provides an opportunity to focus on an issue which affects many women and girls in Australia, and throughout the world.

Senator Patterson said White Ribbon Day Ambassadors, like all men who wear this ribbon, have made a symbolic and personal pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.

“In Australia, according to the ABS, some twenty three per cent of women who are currently, or have been in a previous married or defacto relationship experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner. This is unacceptable and we all need to work together to eradicate violence against women.

“Men and boys have a crucial role in helping reduce violence in the lives of women. Harmful attitudes and beliefs in the community are also a very important part of the problem, and tackling these will assist in building a community that is safer for women and girls.

“I would like to thank our ambassadors who are helping to increase the awareness of this important issue.

“It is testament to the significance of this issue that so many high profile men have given their time to become ambassadors for this important day,” Senator Patterson said.

The official ambassadors for the day have volunteered their time and lent their name to this important cause.

Wil Anderson said “Every day I’m lucky enough to hear the most beautiful sound in the world – laughter. But there’s one thing that is never funny and that’s violence against women, and that’s why I’m proud to be a supporter of White Ribbon Day”.

Andrew Denton has also lent his humour to this very serious issue.

“As that great philosopher, Jewel, once said ‘it’s a shame that so much violence ends in silence’. Domestic violence needs to be shouted about, shouted at and then shouted down,” Andrew Denton said.

Other ambassadors are: Simon Woolford (Canberra Raiders captain), Lionel Quartermaine (ATSIC acting chairman), Dr Peter Shergold (Secretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet), Federal Agent Graham Ashton (General Manager, AFP Counter Terrorism), The Hon Alexander Downer MP (Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade) and Senator Robert Hill (Minister for Defence).