First White Ribbon Community

Article image - First White  Ribbon Community Council’s General Manager Paul Henry, Mayor Paul Harmon and NSW Member for Northern Tablelands and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, and Assistant Minister for Skills, Adam Marshall

The northern New South Wales Shire of Inverell has received recognition as Australia’s first White Ribbon Community.

The achievement comes at the conclusion of an 18 month pilot project led by Inverell Shire Council and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Representatives from Pathfinders Specialist Homelessness Services, Inverell Rural Outreach Support Services and Hunter New England Health, NSW Family and Community Services, NSW Police (New England Local Area Command) and the NSW Department of Education, worked with White Ribbon Australia, local community organisations and schools to develop and pilot the framework for a White Ribbon Community.

White Ribbon Australia Executive Manager, Committees and Community Development, Liam Dooley said that his organisation had been considering the idea of a White Ribbon Community to build on their targeted schools and workplace programs.

“The fact that we were approached by the Inverell community made participating in a pilot here so attractive.”

Mayor, Paul Harmon said, “Having our community’s effort to stop domestic violence from occurring recognised by others is something to be very proud of.

“Inverell was chosen as the pilot for this project, not because of its prevalence, which we admit is higher than we want it to be, but because of the great work individuals, organisations and workplaces in our community were already doing and will continue to do, to demonstrate that violence against women and domestic and family violence is not tolerated in Inverell.

“This certificate, this recognition, it’s still at the start of the process, our effort doesn’t end here.”

The supplemental White Ribbon Community Business Supporters program will be formally launched in the coming months.

Insights provided by the project team and others stakeholders will help White Ribbon Australia support other rural and regional communities do something similar in the future.