Emergency Information

White Ribbon Accreditation achieved

Benalla Health continues to lead the way with initiatives directed towards the prevention of family violence in its community and has achieved White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation, recognising its significant efforts to stop violence against women.

Chief Executive Officer Janine Holland said the accreditation was a great honour for the organisation, which had been working hard on leading the community in the prevention of violence against women.

“Our efforts have been driven by our whole organisation, but in particular our Community Health Director Neil Stott, who is a White Ribbon Ambassador,” she said.

“To achieve accreditation, we have met 15 criteria under three standards to create a safer and more respectful workplace, building on gender equality and diversity initiatives through providing the tools to strengthen a culture of respect and gender equality at all levels of the organisation.”

Ms Holland said Benalla Health had recently had four staff sign up as White Ribbon Advocates to ensure all areas of the organisation were aware of the commitment to stopping violence against women.

“We have embedded policies and procedures into our organisation to make sure that we respond to and prevent violence against women and support our staff in challenging inappropriate behaviours,” she said.

“We ensure that we work with our community on raising awareness about violence against women and what they can do in recognising and preventing the behaviours which lead to it, including taking a lead role in organising and supporting the White Ribbon March in Benalla, which now attracts hundreds of residents.

“Our commitment to preventing violence against women goes right up to Board level, where we have signed a policy commitment which is displayed around the organisation.”

Policy Commitment

As part of its commitment to leadership around Family Violence Prevention, the Benalla Health board has approved the following public statement of Benalla Health’s commitment to the Prevention and Response to Family Violence.

Copies of the Policy Commitment statement are located in a prominent position in the organisation as well as on the website and relevant policy document

This commitment states:

Benalla Health believes that all people have the right to live safely and free from all forms of abuse.

It is a basic Human Right to be respected as an individual. Benalla Health believes that violence against anyone is unacceptable.

While those experiencing family violence/abuse are generally women, it is acknowledged that men may also experience family violence and are entitled to the same level of support.

As a Health Service and collective of people working in our community we are committed to:

  • Eliminating violence and abuse in the workplace and in the community; we actively support the White Ribbon campaign to eliminate family violence;
  • Providing practical support, where possible, to staff who are in or who wish to leave an abusive relationship;
  • Providing our staff with the necessary training and resources to ensure people who are experiencing family violence, or have experienced family violence, have timely access to support; and
  • Changing attitudes and behaviours that are the primary cause of family violence.
  • A staff member who has or is experiencing family violence will not be discriminated against in terms of their current and future employment or career opportunities.

The document is signed by Board Chair Brendan Smith and Ms Holland.