School pledges oath to stop violence
11 Dec 2014
Teachers, athletes and local ambassadors last week took an oath to stop violence against women at Chifley College, Bidwill Campus’ school assembly.
The oath was led by school principal, Mr Mark Burnard, with support from Penrith Panthers players Tyron May and Soni Luke, Western Sydney Wanderers’ Community, Pathway & Football Development Coordinator, Josh Hunter, Urban Neighbours of Hope (UNOH) pioneering missionary, Jon Owen and youth worker from Fusion Youth, Henry McCarthy.
The powerful oath marked the start of the One Billion Rising - Western Sydney partnership between Chifley College, Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA), Headspace and Wirrpanda Foundation.
One Billion Rising - Western Sydney is a school-based program that educates students on healthy relationships and assists them in developing skills to maintain and manage them.
Kate Lamb, Women’s Health Coordinator, WSLHD said: “If more young men know that violence against women is not okay, community attitudes will change and this will have a positive effect on the health of our population.
“Violence not only effects a woman’s physical and mental health, but has a negative impact on the children, wider family and the community.
“We hope that the One Billion Rising – Western Sydney initiative will be eventually rolled out at schools across the region.”
Chifley College principal said he was pleased see young men making a stand for the White Ribbon campaign.
“We know children who are exposed to domestic violence are more likely to perpetrate this violence, so we want to do something about it,” said Mr Burnard.
“The school’s oath speaks a thousand words to other boys and indeed their fathers and uncles. I applaud our teachers and stakeholders for taking the lead to end men’s violence against women in our community.”
For more information about the One Billion Rising – Western Sydney initiative, contact Rowena Saheb, Population Health Program Officer on 9840 3603.
About White Ribbon Day: Originating in Canada in 1991, White Ribbon is now active in more than 60 countries. White Ribbon Australia observes the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day, annually on November 25. White Ribbon Day signals the start of the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women, which ends on Human Rights Day (December 10).