A large crowd of Blue Mountains men from a diverse range of professions attended the annual White Ribbon Day Mayoral Breakfast swearing to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

White Ribbon Day on 25 November each year is held in recognition of the impact of domestic and family violence on the lives of women, children and families.

Mayor, Cr Daniel Myles, said, “It is important that we all take a stand on this most fundamental of human rights issues.

Three Blue Mountains men were appointed by the Mayor as White Ribbon Day Ambassadors – Katoomba Court Registrar, Brian Tulloch; Rotary Member and board member of Bendigo Bank, Peter Carroll; and David Harvey, Clinical Support Worker with the Gunedoo Child and Family Trauma Counselling.

Coalition Against Violence and Abuse (CAVA) spokesperson, Suzie van Opdorp, said “Each of these men are role models for other men and work hard in their communities to bring an end to domestic violence. These men are community leaders and are committed to creating a safe community and bringing an end to family violence.”

The White Ribbon Day Ambassadors and guest speakers told of moving experiences of domestic violence witnessed in their personal and professional lives. The shared message being an urgent call to action by all members of the community, particularly men, to take a stand publicly against domestic and family violence and take the White Ribbon Day pledge

“The statistics on violence against women in Australia are astounding”, said the Mayor.

“Violence against anyone, anywhere is wrong but the fact that most violence against women happens in their own home by someone they know makes is completely unacceptable.”

Local business also plays a role in the campaign. Blue Mountains Home Hardware, Katoomba, distributes white ribbons to their customers and staff. BMHH Manager, Peter Doyle, has been supporting this event for the past three years.

“We are pleased to be part of this important event. Our store is a place where men work and shop so it is an appropriate focal point for this kind of awareness and action.” said Peter.

Fulton-Hogan and Abigroup workers undertaking the highway widening at Wentworth Falls and Lawson also wore the ribbon to raise community awareness with their male co-workers and friends.

The Mayor said, “This year’s particular focus is on the impact of domestic violence on children and the challenges that mothers face as parents when domestic violence is occurring in their families.”

Blue Mountains City Council is part of the Stronger Families Alliance and a signatory to the Alliance’s Child and Family Plan.

“We are fortunate to live in a community like the Blue Mountains that has a strong and resilient community services that are able to support women and their families when they are traumatised by violence”, said the Mayor.

In particular I would like to acknowledge the work of the support services who everyday deal with the results of domestic and family violence:

  • Blue Mountains Local Area Command (Police)
  • Wimlah Women’s Refuge
  • Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre and the Court Assistance Scheme
  • Lemongrove Cottage Sexual Assault Service
  • Blue Mountains Family Support Service
  • Blue Mountains Women’s Heath Centre and Resource Centre
  • Gateway Lower Mountains Family Support Service

And the many other community services that help to build strong and safe communities.”

Suzie Van Opdorp added, “It is really important for women victims and survivors to know how to find safety and where to get support. By raising community awareness we hope that the community will feel more able to act when they see or know about incidents of domestic and family violence.”

For more information about domestic violence and support services call the 24-hour Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63 or call on 4782 5133.


Photo: White Ribbon Day 2011 Ambassadors with Mayor, Cr Daniel Myles; Crs Chris Van der Kley and Howard McCallum; and male representatives from emergency services, community organisations, business and legal services in the Blue Mountains taking a stand against violence to women and children.

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