An innovative project to create healthier workplaces, free from sexism, violence and discrimination has signed up AME Systems (Vic) and Ararat Rural City Council as participants.
Women’s Health Grampians will work with AME Systems (Vic) and ARCC to implement Act@Work, a project aiming to build healthier workplaces with a culture of respect and non-violence, by encouraging workers to speak up.
“We spend a lot of time at work, so introducing this program in the workplace not only improves the work environment it means people take what they learn into their homes and communities,” said Patty Kinnersly, CEO of Women’s Health Grampians.
Act@Work is designed to help businesses and organisations build capacity, develop policies and procedures, and provide the practical tools employees need to play a role in preventing violence against women and children.
“At work we can’t be silent bystanders, we need to step up and say something when we see sexism, discrimination and violence go unchallenged,” Ms Kinnersly added.
AME Systems (Vic) General Manager, Dean Pinniger believes “Preventing violence against women and children is everyone’s issue. The health and safety of employees, at home as well as at work, affects their health and safety on the job.”
With funding from the Victorian Department of Justice under the Reducing Violence against Women and their Children grants program, Act@Work is now working with four workplaces across the Central Highlands region to reinforce healthy, respectful behaviour, centering on what people in the workplace can do to make a difference.
Project Manager for Act@Work Michelle Hunt explains that where sexism, discrimination and violence go unchallenged they are effectively condoned.
“Silent bystanders are an untapped resource and they have a greater role to play in standing up to prevent violence, discrimination or other unacceptable or offensive behaviour. Employees undertaking the program will focus on what they can do to change attitudes that support violence and gender inequality.”
“We are thrilled to be working in the Ararat region with two industry leaders who are committed to lead the change, centering on how workplaces and employees can become active bystanders and challenge sexism, discrimination and violence against women,” said Project Manager Michelle Hunt.
Ararat Rural City Council CEO Andrew Evans believes that “Workplaces are an important part of our lives and the benefit of a healthy and respectful workplace extends far beyond individual workplaces as they can influence our families and the broader community”.
Change is possible and together we can reduce the rates of violence in our community.
Released: June, 2014