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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 139

Mr CHESTER (GippslandParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence) (13:46): Deputy Speaker, may I congratulate you on your election to this highly esteemed office.

While I have the opportunity I would like to reflect on a community breakfast that was held in Bairnsdale on 1 November, where the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner, Ken Lay, spoke on the issue of prevention of violence against women. Ken has been an outstanding advocate in his role on behalf of Victoria Police. He has made it a real focus of his efforts in that position.

Violence against women is not a problem just for women, it is certainly not a problem for just the police and it is not a problem just for MPs and members of this place. It is a problem for all of us. Violence against women cannot be tolerated in any circumstance in our community.

In this context I note that White Ribbon Day is occurring this year on 25 November. It is an occasion for the entire community to refocus its efforts as a nation to never commit violence against women or to excuse it or remain silent about it. As a White Ribbon Day ambassador I encourage all members, particularly the male members of this place, to consider signing up as ambassadors and advocating the white ribbon message throughout the nation through the offices we hold as members of parliament. I also encourage other members of the public to take the White Ribbon Day oath on that day and to help fight this scourge in our society.

While White Ribbon Day is an opportunity to focus on the issue of domestic violence and violence against women, it should not be seen as the only day for that. It is a challenge for us all as a nation to pursue this issue every day of the year. I commend the organisers for their efforts. (Time expired)