Morning Tea in Honour of White Ribbon Queensland
Mr Chiu-Hing Chan and fellow members of the Board of Advice, including Commissioners Katarina Caroll and Peter Martin; Directors-General; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I warmly welcome you to Government House this morning in support of White Ribbon Queensland.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
White Ribbon is nothing if not tenacious.
The past year has, I know, been a testing one for the organisation – with challenges not contained to the COVID-19 response.
It is an onerous task to address change when it is required.
However, a refocused White Ribbon Australia, I know, remains as committed as ever to its goal of ending domestic violence.
May I commend the organisation for finding a new and better way forward.
Today, we are wearing a white ribbon to show we care, and to support the thousands of families affected by domestic violence. We still need to find them, a better way forward.
Indeed, our challenge is to create lasting change, not just here in Queensland, but in all Australian communities and those throughout the world, so that every family may live peacefully.
Raising awareness is an important first step.
‘Stand up Speak Out’ are clear instructions.
Every Queenslander has a responsibility to spread a net of safety for all, but especially women and children, so many who sadly may not yet understand a life without fear is possible.
Our hearts go out to them, and to every Australian family who has lost a loved one or suffered from domestic violence.
COVID-19 has further focussed the spotlight on domestic violence. It is likely we are yet to fully understand the magnitude of the current harm being caused.
We must not let this heightened awareness fade.
Domestic violence needs to be discussed and questioned at all levels, within every community, in all workplaces and at every school. The subject should never be taboo.
We must listen with compassion to gain deeper understandings.
We must be patient. Family violence is complex. We must be there for the long haul.
Only then, will more people recognise they are not alone and feel more comfortable about coming forward.
I thank White Ribbon and the organisations represented here today for your courage and commitment to eliminating violence against women and children.
Your combined efforts are providing them with the opportunity for a safe and secure life that has eluded too many Queensland families for far too long.