On Friday 15 July, the Premier announced that DECD had been accredited as a White Ribbon Workplace for its leadership and commitment to prevent and respond to violence against women.
White Ribbon Australia runs the award-winning accreditation program, which recognises organisations that adapt their culture, practices and procedures to promote safe workplaces for women and respectful relationships.
DECD Chief Executive Rick Persse said becoming a White Ribbon Workplace is a fantastic achievement for the department.
“Violence against women cannot be tolerated and I’m proud our organisation has made a stand to support the White Ribbon cause,” Rick said.
“One woman in Australia is killed almost every week by a current or former partner, which is an utter disgrace.
“Our organisation has done a lot of work to prevent violence against women, however this work is ongoing and as a department we are committed to reducing domestic violence."
DECD’s submission was assessed by 2 independent assessors. Over 18 months, they found the department demonstrated effective leadership, resource allocation, communication, HR policy development and training to create a safer and more respectful workplace.
Receiving accreditation means the department has joined the White Ribbon Workplace cohort for 3 years and will continue to receive access to resources, a national cohort of White Ribbon Workplaces and quarterly teleconferences with White Ribbon Australia.
The department will continue to build on the work that has been accomplished over the past 18 months by promoting available supports for staff affected by domestic violence, as well as reviewing our current policies. An online training package is currently being finalised, which will form part of an induction and will be available for all staff to complete.
A number of schools on the Limestone Coast have become official White Ribbon Schools through White Ribbon’s Breaking the Silence Schools program. The program supports principals and leaders to embed models of respectful relationships in school culture and classrooms.
“Schools in the Limestone Coast are leading the way with their commitment to teaching students about respectful relationships,” Rick said.
“It’s great to see these schools embrace the White Ribbon program, which builds on educating students about a zero tolerance to violence.
In 2014, the Premier announced as part of a national campaign to prevent violence against women, all state government departments would move to become White Ribbon Workplace accredited.
Since enrolling in the program in 2015, DECD has:
- achieved the required number of responses in both the 2015 and 2016 all-staff White Ribbon surveys
- had a number of managers complete expert training in preventing, recognising and responding to domestic violence
- run an internal workshop as part of White Ribbon Day
- had many DECD sites and offices participate in White Ribbon Day, hosting morning and afternoon teas and raising money
- established an internal working group to oversee the process to receive accreditation
- increased the number of White Ribbon ambassadors in the department to 8 staff members
- developed an intranet page, raised awareness of our domestic violence procedure and raised awareness about the issue of violence against women through articles and information provided to staff
- participated in the Breaking the Silence Schools Program in the South East, which drives attitudinal and behavioural change in youth to prevent the perpetration of men’s violence against women and girls
- begun development of an online training package about recognising and responding to domestic violence, which will form part of an induction and will be available for all staff to complete.