The move to make Inverell Australia’s first official White Ribbon Community is making progress as plans are finalised to put the New England township at the forefront of reducing violence against women.
The community initiative, announced last November, has been in the planning stages with a large group of organisations who are coordinating the project.
“It’s a pilot project being built from scratch in conjunction with the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet; NSW Police; Family and Community Services; health and educational authorities; and local community groups and services like Pathfinders and Rural Outreach,” Inverell Shire Council’s Stephen Golding said.
Inverell was chosen to be the first community because of the strength of popular support shown for White Ribbon activities like the annual November march.
“Inverell have been very active in the White Ribbon Campaign for many years,” White Ribbon Australia’s Liam Dooley said.
As a pilot, the basic framework for community participation has been under development with strategies, actions and goals needed to raise awareness of the different forms of physical, emotional and other violence that occurs against women and children.
When the final project plan is announced, Inverell will see particular focus on educating young people in an attempt to intervene and break the cycle of violence that is passed from one generation to the next.
Other campaign efforts will strive to maximise project resources by helping people and organisations work together on the initiative within the community.
“While working collaboratively in undefined territory can be difficult at times, the support of the community and White Ribbon Australia will make it all worthwhile,” Executive director with Hunter New England Health and Chair of the New England Violence Prevention Initiative, Susan Heyman said.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence, there are many local and national organisations that can help you.