Shellharbour Council to join White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation program

Shellharbour City Council is taking another significant step towards the prevention of violence against women by undertaking the White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program.

The White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program recognises workplaces that are taking active steps to stop violence against women, accrediting them as a White Ribbon Workplace. 

Workplaces are supported in adapting organisational culture, policies and procedures, equipping staff with the knowledge and skills to address the issue of violence against women, both within the workplace and broader community.

Accredited workplaces demonstrate effective leadership, resource allocation, communication, HR policy development and training.

White Ribbon Workplaces engender a whole-of-organisation commitment to stop violence against women, meeting 15 criteria under three standards to create safer and more respectful workplaces.

More than 600,000 employees nationally have completed the program which builds on existing gender equality and diversity initiatives and provides tools to strengthen a culture of respect and gender equality.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the city had zero tolerance for violence of any kind.

“This program will help Council staff deal with victims of domestic violence and provide further education in regards to gender equality,” Cr Saliba said.

“Becoming an accredited White Ribbon Workplace has been a long-term goal of Council’s for some time. This is an extremely important issue and we are looking forward to the accreditation process.”

Cr Saliba said domestic violence was one of the biggest issues dealt with by police at the Lake Illawarra Area Command.

Previous Shellharbour Council initiatives include the installation of signs alongside major roads at the city’s entrance points stating, “Shellharbour City says NO to violence against women”, featuring a white ribbon.

The $19,500 cost of the program will be funded from savings in Council’s existing operational budget.

Council has denounced domestic violence on several occasions, adopting a Shellharbour Safety Strategy and Domestic Violence Management Plan in 2016.

The plan includes a focus on engagement with other agencies, advocacy, referral services and education.

Council also requested that Shellharbour be included in the NSW Family & Community Services program ‘Staying Home Leaving Violence’, which aims to prevent homelessness by working with NSW Police to remove perpetrators from the family home so women and children can remain safely where they are.

For more information contact Council’s Media Officer on 4221 6038.