After returning home after spending most of 2014 away from their home port, the ship’s company of HMAS Anzac paused at Fleet Base East take a united stand against violence against women.
With one woman killed each week in Australia as a result of domestic violence, Anzac’s crew took the time to draw attention to this sombre statistic by setting up cardboard cutouts of 52 women on the ship’s flight deck, and then standing together with the ‘ladies’ in a ceremonial formation.
Anzac’s Commanding Officer, Commander Matthew Doornbos, highlighted the importance of drawing attention to the activities of the White Ribbon organisation.
“Violence in all forms should not be tolerated, particularly when it is committed by men against women.
“The Royal Australian Navy has worked hard to become one of the first White Ribbon accredited workplaces, and Anzac’s ship’s company proudly follows the ship’s motto of ‘United We Stand’ – standing against violence against women,” Commander Doornbos said.
White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male led campaign to end men’s violence against women, which it achieves by encouraging men to never be silent about domestic violence.
Anzac’s Ship’s Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer Andy Templeton, was pleased to see the interest gained from crew members about the White Ribbon cause.
“A number of crew asked about the reason for the 52 cutouts, and many seemed taken aback when they realised that it symbolised the number of women killed as a result of domestic violence.
“Anzac has a significant number of women on board and it goes without saying the violence against women must never be tolerated,” Warrant Officer Templeton said.
“I was pleased to be able to join with several of my shipmates in taking the White Ribbon Pledge.”
With female members accounting for almost one in five officers and sailors, the Royal Australian Navy does not tolerate violence against women within its workforce, and in the broader community.
Navy was one of the first accredited White Ribbon workplaces and the largest in Australia due to a constant commitment to the White Ribbon ethos.
Press Release; Image: Australian Navy