Chief Executive Jane Pickering said Eldercare began observing White Ribbon Day in 2016 when the organisation started the process of becoming a White Ribbon accredited workplace.
“We were successful in gaining accreditation in March 2018 so our fundraising efforts at our Head Office and residential care facilities take on special significance this year,” said Jane.
“Unfortunately, the statistics paint a very tragic picture when it comes to the prevalence and severity of domestic violence in Australia and we all have a responsibility to heed White Ribbon’s call to action to ‘stand up, speak out and act’.
“According to White Ribbon, 61 women in Australia have lost their lives as a direct result of domestic violence in 2018 – and it’s statistics like this that have been the catalyst for Eldercare to take proactive steps to ensure women’s safety both inside and outside the workplace.”
This year’s events will include a White Ribbon dinner for residents with a string quartet at Sash Ferguson in Mount Barker, a ‘black and white’ themed fashion parade at Oxford in Hove and a morning tea followed by a group photoshoot of residents, staff and volunteers at Evanston Park in Gawler.
“These events remind staff that gender-based violence will not be tolerated and that employees who may be experiencing violence can access Eldercare’s White Ribbon program for help,” said Jane.
“These events also demonstrate to our residents and families that Eldercare truly cares for our staff and takes meaningful and practical steps to offer support to victims.
“We’ve introduced mandatory training to educate staff about the issue of domestic violence, reviewed relevant policies and procedures and developed individualised risk assessments and safety plans for employees experiencing violence.”
Money raised by Eldercare this year will help Site Operations Manager, and White Ribbon Ambassador, Ryan Midgley reach his 2019 charity bike ride fundraising target of $10,000 to support the White Ribbon cause.
“I have come up with a new fundraising initiative called the ‘Mawson Trail Epic’: a 900km off-road bike ride along the Mawson Trail which I will be undertaking next May,” said Ryan.
“My goal is to raise more than $10,000 over the next six months to support primary prevention initiatives in schools, workplaces and the broader community.
“As a White Ribbon Ambassador, I am very passionate about ending the issue of violence against women and hope that my ride and fundraising efforts can further increase awareness of this issue and drive change in our society.”
It was announced in September that White Ribbon Day will now be celebrated on the Friday before 25 November each year to avoid clashing with the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.