Glenorchy Council takes a stand against domestic and family violence

GLENORCHY City Council is taking a strong stand against domestic violence, instituting a special initiative to encourage cultural change within the council and the city generally.

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

Its introduction follows a council resolution taken in September 2015 to say “no” to family violence and acknowledge the good work being done by organisations in Glenorchy to support those experiencing violence.

General Manager Peter Brooks said the Glenorchy City Council recognised combatting family and domestic violence as a priority and was commencing its effort in-house.

“Our Executive Leadership Team has agreed to support 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 engages in initiatives such as ‘White Ribbon’ and ‘Our Watch’.

“The council will also write to the Premier to pledge support for the implementation of ‘Safe Homes, Safe Families’ the Tasmanian Family Violence Action Plan.”

GCC’s Director Corporate Governance and General Counsel, Seva Iskandarli, 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 Enterprise Agreement 2016 covering all staff members.

“Under this provision GCC has agreed to introduce 10 new days of additional paid leave for employees who are impacted by family and domestic violence,” she 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 to other organisations within 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 will be 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.

“Through our Domestic PEACE initiative the Council will continue to be involved in activities to promote positive messages to prevent family violence in our city and across Tasmania,” Ms Iskandarli said.

“Council’s Domestic PEACE Team, Janina Gauden, Sally King, Craig Anderson, Jill Sleiters, Lisa Rudd, Dionne Berry and myself are currently working on launching White Ribbon Day locally on 24 November and we are proud and excited to be associated with such an important event.”

Safer Communities Development Officer Lisa Rudd said GCC was supporting community engagement and awareness programs, such as White Ribbon Day, to raise the profile of primary prevention.

“Glenorchy’s program was promoted at the recent Local Government Association of Tasmania General Managers’ meeting where more than 20 general managers from councils across Tasmania were briefed on the initiative,” she said.

Mr Brooks said the council’s vision was to ensure that Glenorchy was the best place in Tasmania to live, work and play, both now and into the future.

“We want Glenorchy to be a city where we all care for each other and act together to improve our lifestyle and environment through a strong sense of community,” he said.

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

Caption: The Glenorchy City Council ‘PEACE’ team, from left, Community Development Coordinator Jill Sleiters, Manager People & Safety Dionne Berry, Senior Human Resources Advisor Craig Anderson, Customer Service Centre Officer Sally King, Director Corporate Governance & General Counsel Seva Iskandarli and Community Development Officer Lisa Rudd.