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November 22, 2012

The Nationals Member for Gippsland and White Ribbon Day Ambassador Darren Chester will lead a group swearing against family violence this Sunday (November 25) in Briagolong.

The group swearing will be held at 6pm in the main street with the event coinciding with the arrival of around 4000 bike riders participating in the 2012 RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride.

The event has been organised by the Briagolong Community Representative Group in conjunction with Gippsland Women’s Health Service with organisers aiming to have 1000 men pledge the oath to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

Mr Chester said the event was an opportunity for Gippsland men to take the lead and act as positive role models for younger males in the community by speaking out against violence. But he stressed the need to take an all-year-round approach to tackle the problem which is highlighted annually on White Ribbon Day.

“The level of family violence in our community is still too high and we need to be setting an example for young males that they must respect, nurture and care for women in our society and treat them as equals,” Mr Chester said.

“Violence against women cannot be tolerated in any circumstances and as a community we must be committed to combating the issue every day, not just on White Ribbon Day.

“Staying silent is not an option. We need to be vigilant and willing to take action when we suspect that violence against women is occurring.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Gippsland Women’s Health Service Ms Jodie Pullman praised the Briagolong community for its commitment to raising the issue of family violence.

“One in three women over the age of 15 report physical violence and one in five report sexual violence at some time in their lives,” Ms Pullman said.

“To their credit, Briagolong residents acknowledge that at a community level we need to be looking at prevention.

“The event will highlight the need for men to be involved in the prevention of violence against women and give the local community as well as visitors to the town an opportunity to take the first step in breaking the silence about violence and increasing awareness about the White Ribbon Campaign.”

Also swearing the oath with Mr Chester will be Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Scott Rossetti.

This year’s theme for White Ribbon Day is ‘hey mate, let the world know where you stand.’

White Ribbon Day merchandise will be available for purchase throughout the day and those swearing the oath are asked to register at the White Ribbon Marquee prior to 6pm.

Anyone seeking further details about the event should contact Family Violence Prevention Coordinator Sarah Corbell at the Gippsland Women’s Health Service on 5143 1600 or via email at

Information on White Ribbon Day can be found online at

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