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Preventing Violence Together – Leadership Breakfast in the West

The discussion panel with VC Peter Dawkins

The gender pay-gap, institutional change, and challenging ongoing attitudinal problems were just some of the issues discussed in VU’s Preventing Violence Together Leadership Breakfast in the West, held on December 8 at Metro West.

The breakfast, organised by Marian Cronin, Victoria University’s Respect and Responsibility Manager, was one of several events supporting 16 Days of Activism 2017, an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.

Violence against women and girls is a devastating human rights violation and is one of the most extreme forms of discrimination.

Panel of thought leaders

Professor Dawkins facilitated the panel discussion made up of key thought leaders on the topic. The group discussed ways in which organisations and communities can collectively prevent gender-based violence and work to build more respectful and inclusive workplaces, communities and study environments.

Panel members included:

  • Camilla Gebicki, Senior Policy Advisor, Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Dr. Robyn Gregory, CEO Women’s Health West
  • Luke Cornelius Assistant Commissioner, Victoria Police

Collaboration essential

On the subject of the 2017 National University Student Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment, Camilla Gebicki said that while the survey focused on university students, gender-based violence was an issue the “whole of Australia needed to address collaboratively”.

On gender equality, Luke Cornelius said Victoria Police had made inroads, but that there was much more work to do. “Only the other day, for the first time in Victoria Police history we launched our Executive Remuneration Policy which sets some very clear and transparent agendas around the discretion that is exercised at the executive level, around remuneration,” he said.

Professor Dawkins posed a question to the panel about ways institutions such as Victoria University can continue to actively address gender-based violence, on and off the campus. Dr Robyn Gregory from Women’s Health West responded:

“Change will not occur over a short period of time – there are systematic difficulties, but collaboration is essential”.

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