An arial photo of Ballarat

CEO Update – April 2024

19/04/2024

Whilst there is much going on for our members and the region, it’s hard to imagine anything more distressing than the tragic deaths of three women in our community. Samantha Murphy, Rebecca Young and Hannah McGuire had their lives taken prematurely and tragically, as an alleged result of gendered violence.

Quite understandably, many women in our community are currently going about their daily routines with trepidation and this is not OK. It is appalling that violence against women continues to take the lives of so many and is the cause of significant ongoing trauma for the many more women who suffer and endure abuse, violence, discrimination, inequity and oppression every day, often unbeknownst to most.

We have an epidemic in our society that we must address and to do so requires men to change. We men must lead the call in our community that Enough is Enough. This is not a heroic or altruistic call, rather it simply acknowledges men as the main source of the problem and we must therefore take responsibility for the change.

As tragic as the past few months in our region have been, let’s work with the sadness, grief, anxiety and anger many in our community are currently feeling and use this to drive change.

Committee for Ballarat is partnering with Women’s Health Grampians as part of our CORE Alliance membership, to deliver the Men’s Initiative – a first for Ballarat following the successful delivery of the program in the Wimmera.

The program is for men who are keen to be strong allies and advocates in the community to amplify the message “Enough” and help stamp out gendered violence. It is an innovative and evidence-based model that aims to build the capacity of men in communities to identify and call out gender inequality, sexism and discrimination.

Change will come when men and boys proactively defy the social, structural and systematic norms that lead to discrimination and inequality that lies at the core of violence against women. This can happen in our homes and families, in our workplaces, in our sporting clubs, in the varied institutions we are part of and in the places where we men hang out.

As our Federal Member Catherine King so eloquently put it, “How we educate our boys in this community matters, what opportunities they have to learn how to be the fabulous, beautiful men we all know in some aspects of our lives matters.”

As men, as leaders, as a community we all need to step up and ensure all people are safe and this must start by ensuring women are safe. We must address inequality at all levels by starting with Gender Inequality. Women’s Health Grampians are just one of the many providers working to deliver change. Committee for Ballarat invites you to be part of this change as we work to turn the tide of inequality and importantly – now – collectively stand against gendered violence.
#Enough.

Register for the Men’s Initiative HERE