Taking a stand against domestic violence

26 November 2018
By Richard Van Breda, Stanwell CEO

I read in a media report last week, that 72 women and 20 children have been killed in Queensland over the past 11 months. Across Australia, a total of 212 Australians have died as a result of alleged murder or manslaughter in 2018, with male violence accounting for almost 90 per cent of these deaths.

Domestic violence is still the main killer of women and children. At least 66 per cent of this year’s femicides and child deaths were perpetrated by loved ones.

Over the past 12 months, there has been a sharp increase in domestic violence related deaths compared to last year.

With statistics like those, there is no doubt that we need to do more to prevent and eradicate family and domestic violence.

Today, Stanwell was formally recognised by White Ribbon ambassador, Cameron McKenzie, for becoming a White Ribbon Workplace. Over the last 18 months, we have made a focused commitment to creating a safer and more respectful workplace, through leadership, resource allocation, communication, training and policy development.

Stanwell now joins other companies, like Rio Tinto, Virgin Australia, Telstra, iiNet, Unity Water and more, who have also demonstrated a whole of organisation commitment to stopping domestic violence.

The program was built on our existing diversity and inclusion initiatives, providing additional tools to help strengthen our culture of respect and gender equality at all levels of the organisation.

The program has better positioned Stanwell to respond to and prevent domestic violence, whether it occurs inside or outside the organisation. This has been achieved by supporting those experiencing violence, holding perpetrators to account, encouraging all employees to challenge inappropriate behaviours and strengthening gender equality within our workforce.

As part of the accreditation, we need to keep the topic of domestic and family violence front and centre and look for opportunities to continue building respectful workplaces and communities.

The best thing that we can all do to help the reduction of domestic violence is to promote and role model respectful relationships.

There is no excuse for disrespect. It’s important that we understand the cycle of violence. Not all disrespect results in violence. But all violence against women starts with disrespectful behaviour.

Philosopher Edmund Burke is attributed to have said (and slightly adapted), “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good women and men should do nothing”.

I challenge every one of you to make a stand against domestic and violence.

The achievement of our White Ribbon accreditation was a team effort. The Services Union has been a leader in ensuring government and public sector agencies have model domestic and family violence leave entitlements and policies and procedures in place. Stanwell worked closely with the Services Union in relation to our domestic and family violence policy and as a result, was presented with a 7-star rating from the Services Union on 18 May 2017.

Thanks must also go to our Stanwell family. Every one of our team members played a part in Stanwell achieving this accreditation.

Lastly, my thanks to Stanwell’s Manager of People and Culture Services, Pete Johnston, who has done an amazing job leading us through the White Ribbon accreditation process and instilling a culture of zero tolerance for disrespect.

While the accreditation is important, it is more about the meaning and real commitment to preventing and stopping domestic and family violence. Together, we are making a stand against disrespect and against violence against women.