Chief Executive Jane Pickering said today’s accreditation announcement by White Ribbon Australia was a ‘great day’ for Eldercare.
“We have worked very hard over the past 18 months to raise awareness of the severity and impacts of domestic violence right across the organisation,” said Jane.
“It is impossible to ignore the harsh reality that, on average, intimate partner violence in Australia claims one woman’s life every week and we cannot let this unnecessary loss of life continue.
“As Chief Executive of Eldercare, I feel very strongly that organisations like ours which employ a high proportion of women must take the lead on changing the conversations around, and responses to, violence.
“We must create workplace environments where women can talk confidentially about the deeply personal impacts of violence without being judged and be supported to make the necessary changes to protect their safety.”
Project Manager and Site Operations Manager Ryan Midgley thanked the Eldercare White Ribbon Committee for the role it had played in achieving accreditation and praised staff across the organisation for their support.
“We surveyed staff twice during the past 18 months and saw massive changes in people’s attitudes and understanding when we compared the results between the first and second surveys,” said Ryan.
“Staff felt more confident about knowing what to say and how to respond if a colleague revealed they were experiencing violence whilst others said they would be more likely to ‘call out’ a peer for using sexist language or telling a sexually explicit joke.”
Ryan said today’s accreditation announcement was not the ‘end’ for Eldercare.
“We will keep educating our staff about our ‘zero tolerance’ approach to violence, we will regularly train our managers in responding to disclosures by staff and we will review our plans and processes frequently to ensure we are providing the best support we can.
“It is vital that women experiencing violence know they have options and we are considering a range of ideas including the establishment of an emergency fund to help pay for short term accommodation, medical treatment and other much-needed items.
“Eldercare will keep doing everything in its power to end violence against women both inside and outside the workplace so we maintain our status as a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace for the long term.”
Read the White Ribbon press release for the full list of newly accredited workplaces.