Glenorchy City Council launches anti-domestic and family violence initiative

GLENORCHY City Council has launched a new initiative to address family and domestic violence through a whole-of-council program involving all employees.

The program was launched on November’s White Ribbon Day, at a barbecue for staff and community stakeholders on the lawns outside the Council Chambers.

Glenorchy is taking a strong stand against domestic violence, and has introduced a unique program to encourage cultural change within the council and the city generally.

The Domestic PEACE (People Engaging in Action to Change Environments) program is a progressive, whole-of-council approach to increasing understanding within the organisation of family and domestic violence.

Its introduction follows a Council Resolution of September 2015 to say no to family violence and acknowledge the good work being done by organisations in Glenorchy to support those experiencing domestic violence.

General manager Peter Brooks said the council recognised addressing family and domestic violence as a priority and was commencing its effort in-house.

“Our executive leadership team is supporting an organisational response to family and domestic violence and progress the development of a comprehensive primary prevention approach specifically targeting respect and gender equity,” he said.

“Council has formally resolved to recognise family and domestic violence as a priority and engage in initiatives such as ‘White Ribbon’ and ‘Our Watch’ and we are supporting the government’s state-wide programs.”

Mr Brooks said the council’s goal was to be a leader in this area and importantly, family and domestic violence leave had been included in GCC’s latest Enterprise Agreement covering all staff members.

“Under this provision, GCC has introduced 10 days of additional paid leave for employees who are impacted by family and domestic violence,” he said.

“This is in line with council’s view that all families should live in safety, free from all forms of domestic violence and we hope that it sets a positive example for other businesses and organisations in Glenorchy and beyond to consider, discuss and commit to this important issue in our community.”

Council is partnering with White Ribbon Australia, the Can Do Community family violence initiative and the GCC Safer Communities Committee.

It is the first council in Tasmania to have all staff achieve White Ribbon E-Learning accreditation, giving them skills and understanding to assist in dealing with domestic violence issues.

Council’s director corporate governance and general counsel Seva Iskandarli said the launch of the Domestic PEACE initiative, coinciding with White Ribbon Day, was a great success.

“GCC staff and community stakeholders joined together to demonstrate their commitment to address family and domestic violence,” she said.

“Through our Domestic PEACE initiative the council will continue to be involved in these activities, promoting positive messages to prevent family violence in our city and across Tasmania.

“Glenorchy’s vision is to ensure that our city is the best place in Tasmania to live, work and play, both now and into the future.”

Mr Brooks said the council wanted Glenorchy to be viewed as a city where people cared for each other and acted together to improve the lifestyle and environment through a strong sense of community.

“Our Domestic PEACE initiative is a demonstration of council’s leadership and will set a benchmark for others to follow in the campaign against family and domestic violence,” he said.

Caption: Glenorchy City Council’s Domestic Peace team, Craig Anderson, left, Tammy McCance, Dionne Berry, Seva Iskandarli, Lisa Rudd, David Ronaldson, Jill Sleiters, Janina Gauden, Sally King and Peter Brooks.

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