Ryan, who played a key role in helping Eldercare become a White Ribbon Australia accredited workplace in March, said he applied for an Ambassador role because he wanted ‘to make a difference to women’s lives’.
“I wasn’t aware just how significant the problem of violence against women was until I became involved with Eldercare’s submission for workplace accreditation,” said Ryan.
“Violence against women is totally inexcusable and it is an issue we all have a responsibility to change.”
“By taking on an Ambassador role, I feel I have a valuable opportunity to support the great work White Ribbon Australia is doing in the community and help influence people’s attitudes and behaviours so we can end violence.”
Chief Executive Jane Pickering congratulated Ryan on his appointment and praised his commitment to promoting the White Ribbon message across Eldercare.
“We’ve seen a significant shift in attitudes towards domestic violence at Eldercare and Ryan has played an instrumental role in helping draw attention to the issue and the support services available to our employees,” said Jane.
“I believe White Ribbon is sending a very strong message to the community by having trained male Ambassadors working alongside female Advocates highlighting the need to stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women.
“Ryan’s resolute dedication to driving positive change for victims today, and future generations, makes him an excellent advocate for this important social issue here at Eldercare and also in the wider community.”
Ryan believed ‘gender inequality and outdated definitions of masculinity’ were contributing factors to the problem of violence against women.
“I think some men use violence as a way to show emotion and this has to stop - men need to seek help and learn how manage their emotions in a more healthy way,” said Ryan.
“I also feel that perpetrators of violence show a distinct lack of respect for women in contrast to men who choose to act thoughtfully.”
Ryan said that efforts to end violence against women must also include strategies to educate younger generations.
“Teaching young boys about the importance of respectful relationships and demonstrating what considerate behaviour looks like is so important,” said Ryan.
“We can all influence positive behaviour change – we can start by teaching boys that it’s disrespectful to tell sexist jokes or act in a way that puts females down and denigrates them.
“By educating young boys early, we stand a better chance of helping them mature into caring men and hopefully reduce the chance of them developing anti-social behaviours to create a safer world for women.”
Ryan has been selected to present at September’s 2018 Aged and Community Services Australia National Summit in Sydney where he will speak about Eldercare’s participation in the White Ribbon Australia Workplace Accreditation Program.
Image: Eldercare Site Operations Manager Ryan Midgley.