Bass Coast employers lead campaign to prevent violence against women

Joint Media Release

Bass Coast’s four biggest employers have united to support a community campaign to prevent violence against women.

As part of the Active Bystander program, Bass Coast Shire Council, Phillip Island Nature Parks, Westernport Water and Bass Coast Health have been training their people with the skills to act in our communities, homes and workplaces.

The training within this program is a key practical way employers spark desire for change and support the National 16 Days of Activism campaign.

Spokesperson for the four organisations, Bass Coast Shire Council Acting Chief Executive Officer Jodi Kennedy said, “The people who work in these organisations mostly live locally, enabling this program to have a direct impact on the Bass Coast community through activities and relationships.

“Participating organisations are proud to lead this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence through training and community events.

“This year’s campaign encourages all Victorians to work together to prevent violence against women. It is a tragic fact that, on average, a woman in Australia is killed by a man they know every 10 days.”

From 1pm on Tuesday 5 December there’s an event being held at Apex Park, Wonthaggi, called the Big Respect Pop-up featuring the artist PollyannaR.

The event is part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and we’re inviting everyone to come along. The idea is to support the cause by getting your picture taken with PollyannaR’s sign, along with a message about what respect means to you.

After having your photo taken, you’ll get a printed copy right away to put on your fridge. A digital copy will also be uploaded to PollyannaR’s Facebook page for sharing (with your permission). South Gippsland Water and Wonthaggi Lions Club will be supporting the day with water and free sausage sizzle.

Ms Kennedy said “As large employers in the Bass Coast we have been activating our employees to be someone who does something. Bass Coast Shire Council will be hosting an Active Bystander training session on Tuesday, 5 December which is open to all staff and volunteers from the four employers.

“Workplaces play an important role in preventing gendered violence because they strongly shape attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours through learning and open discussions.”

We have seen the momentum build across the Bass Coast with employees leading the charge on gender equity in the workplace, and the ripple effect of conversations and change taking place in homes, sporting and community groups, and schools.

Active Bystander training has contributed to successes like equal paid parental leave for both parents; equal prize money for all genders; “Put Her Name on it” campaign, and unforeseen flexible working arrangements.’’