We acknowledged White Ribbon Day at Garnsey Campus this week. Initiated by 8 Ries as their Service Learning project, and building on the Respectful Relationships Initiative we have introduced, the day was acknowledged in Chapel services. The White Ribbon Program supports schools to bring about a commitment to stop violence against women. It builds on existing initiatives to strengthen a culture of respect and equality at all levels of the school community – through curriculum, role modelling by staff, policies and procedures, family violence education programs and strengthened family and community partnerships. This is a global initiative following the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration of November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW); the White Ribbon has become the symbol for the day.
The White Ribbon Campaign is the only national violence prevention campaign and is unique in aiming to raise awareness among Australian men and boys about the roles they can play to prevent violence against women. The campaign calls for them to speak out and take an oath; an oath swearing never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.
Students from 8 Ries sold ribbons and wristbands and led the service, with girls providing their stories of gender stereotyping and harassment in order to make the link between behaviours at school, on the sporting field and violence against women. Many boys and staff took the White Ribbon oath during the service. In doing so, they have the opportunity to become positive role models and advocates for change by challenging behaviours and attitudes that have allowed violence against women to occur based on the understanding that most men are not violent.
I must commend the students and staff on the successful first week of Rollover; welcoming new students in classes and our Boarding House, lots of enthusiastic learning and some interesting weather events to manage too. On Monday, we will induct our new House Officials and, on Tuesday, welcome the new Year 7 students for their four-day Orientation program.