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Media Release by The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Australian workplaces say no to violence

The Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis, today launched a $1.1 million workplace program combating violence against women.

Ms Ellis said the White Ribbon Workplace Program was important in creating long-term change in attitudes to violence in the workplace.

“We need to pull the issue of family violence out of the shadows and challenge the notion that this is a ‘private issue. And this means standing up against violence in all spheres of our lives whether it be at home, in our schools, neighbourhoods or workplaces,” Ms Ellis said.

“We know that most Australians spend a good chunk of their day in the workplace and it is here that we need to be proactive in saying no to violence against women.

“The Australian Government has a long history of partnering with the Foundation and I look forward to continuing that partnership with the Workplace Program.

The Workplace Program is an awareness, early intervention and prevention program specifically for workplace settings.

In the past year a reference group of 20 members has been established and in August the group met for the first time to endorse a project work plan and terms of reference.

“The new program is structured around three key elements – the appointment of ambassadors for positive workplace cultures, accreditation of workplaces that are safe places for women and awards for workplaces that introduce prevention strategies and speak out about violence,” Ms Ellis said.

“I’m encouraged to see some of Australia’s leading organisations including Universities Australia, the ACTU and NSW Police already taking stand on violence against women by taking part in this program and I urge all workplaces to get involved.”

Ms Ellis said that the Australian Government was dedicated to promoting a zero-tolerance policy on violence.

“We have committed more than $86 million in funding to support the implementation of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.

“The Plan is the first of its kind to focus so strongly on prevention, including building respectful relationships among young people and working to increase gender equality to stop violence from occurring in the first place.

A copy of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 is available from www.fahcsia.gov.au