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White Ribbon Newsletter for August 2019

Wednesday, August 21, 2019   Posted in: Newsletters By: Administrator With tags: newsletter, violence, abuse, young people, leadership, conferences

Our cause sometimes feels too close to home. As I write this on a Sunday evening, I am reflecting on meeting my local Mayor on the Kapiti Coast for lunch. Outside the cafe were multiple Police cars and officers, collecting evidence and directing traffic away from the site where a man murdered a woman. 

Another life is gone with family and friends left behind to pick up the pieces. Only the day before we had been asked to provide a speaker at a memorial service, this time in Auckland for a woman we can't yet name who lost her life after being stabbed multiple times.

These are the worst case scenarios that horrify us all but there are many more women and children that bear the scars of both physical and non-physical violence. I know we can help prevent some of this violence.

Our Workplace Accreditation and Youth Ambassador Leadership Programmes have never been more in demand, but with your help, we can get more businesses on board and educate and activate more students.

Soon we will be announcing more details of the November Campaign that this year will focus on our youth. I'm incredibly excited that we will be undertaking something new and working with the generation that literally holds the future of Aotearoa in their hands.

Rob McCann
White Ribbon Manager

New Zealander of the Year nominee - David White

White Ribbon Ambassador David White has recently been announced as a nominee for the 2020 New Zealander of the Year Awards. We couldn't be more thrilled that David's tireless work to prevent violence is being celebrated. He is a thoroughly deserving candidate for this prestigious award.  

Eleven years ago David’s daughter Helen Meads was shot dead by her millionaire racehorse breeder husband Greg Meads. To ensure tragic stories like his daughter's aren’t repeated,David has spent the last seven years sharing his experience with people all over New Zealand. His commitment to changing New Zealand society for the better in the face of immense personal loss is inspiring. 

His work has helped to bring domestic violence out of the shadows where it has thrived for far too long.

Read the full story about David White.

White Ribbon Youth Ambassador Leadership Programme (YALP)

Our reinvigorated Youth Ambassador Leadership Programme launched in Wellington on Friday 2nd August after after months of planning. 235 students from 30 secondary schools around the Lower North Island gathered at Wellington College for a full-day workshop. These Year twelve and thirteen students then return to their schools as Youth Ambassadors.

The workshop provided the Youth Ambassadors with an understanding of what domestic violence looks like in New Zealand, and outlined the various forms of violence to ensure they realise it is not simply about physical abuse. The importance of respectful relationships was highlighted and they learnt how to identify unhealthy relationships. 

Our aim is to empower these future leaders by giving them the tools to promote change. They have lots of fantastic ideas that they want to make a reality. Each school is being assigned an adult from the White Ribbon team to support them as they spread the kaupapa within their schools and communities.

Find out more about the Youth Ambassador Leadership Programme from White Ribbon. Email White Ribbon if you are interested in bringing YALP to your school or community (contact[at]

Welcome for new White Ribbon Ambassador - Mayor Justin Lester

White Ribbon is delighted to welcome Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to the White Ribbon team. He is passionate about the White Ribbon kaupapa and supporting change in our communities. 

The event to welcome Mayor Lester was organised by fellow Ambassador Inspector Rakesh Naidoo of the Police, and hosted at Police National Headquarters in Wellington by Police Commissioner (and White Ribbon Ambassador) Mike Bush. Mayor Lester was nominated by the National Council of Women and Multicultural New Zealand.

Find out more about Justin Lester's welcome event.

School Visits from White Ribbon Riders

The White Ribbon Ride has visited communities throughout New Zealand sincce 2009 to spread the message that violence against women is unacceptable. The riders look tough and their motorbikes draw in a crowd but it is their message that has the greatest impact. The Ride traditionally takes place in November to coincide with White Ribbon Day and associated events. The one downside to that timing is that senior students have usually already left school at that time and as a result miss the opportunity to hear from the Riders. In response to this issue the Hauraki Ride is looking at moving their Ride to May 2020 to trial and see if alternating the time of the rides is effective in engaging more youth.

Another way to facilitate Riders connecting with senior students is the opportunity to have a group of Riders visit your school during the year to present on these issues. We have a number of enthusiastic Riders who are keen to connect with local schools during the year and develop a more meaningful and long-lasting relationship with the students and school. The fact that some of the Riders have experience as victims and former perpetrators of domestic violence gives them and their message more credibility with students.

Read the full story about White Ribbon riders visiting schools.

Q & A with White Ribbon Ambassador David Cournane

Today we would like to introduce one of our White Ribbon Ambassadors, David Cournane. David is the HoD of Physical Education and Health at Wellington College. David has been the driver in introducing the White Ribbon Youth Ambassador Leadership Programme (YALP) into the Wellington region this year, and is the local co-ordinator for the Programme. We are extremely grateful for the time and effort he has put into this important initiative.

As he is an educator working with young men we wanted to ask him a few questions about why he chose to become involved, what he sees as the challenges for young people, and how we can assist them to overcome them and make real change in New Zealand attitudes to violence in the future.

Read the Q&A with David Cournane.

Ambassadors like David are vital to spreading the White Ribbon kaupapa and getting projects like the Youth Ambassador Leadership Programme and Business Accreditation into local communities around New Zealand.

Find out about nominating someone to become a White Ribbon Ambassador if you would like to become an Ambassador, or would like someone else to take on this valuable role. You can also contact White Ribbon for more information (contact[at]

Honouring Grace Millane

The tragic murder of British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand last December brought New Zealanders together in condemnation of this appalling act of violence. In the months since her death Grace’s family and friends have committed themselves to fundraising and awareness-raising events to honour her memory.

At the request of Grace’s family, LL Loves has offered to donate twenty percent from all New Zealand orders to White Ribbon New Zealand to help continue our efforts to prevent violence.

Read the full article about honouring Grace Millane.

Workforce Inclusion and Diversity Conference

The 2nd Annual Workforce Inclusion and Diversity conference (Auckland, 28th to 30th August 2019 in Auckland) is the perfect platform to gain actionable insights and attend interactive sessions that will inspire you to propel change at your organisation.

Boost your D&I strategy with tips and tools from over 30 diverse speakers, including our very own White Ribbon Board Member and Ambassador Anna Campbell. Anna will facilitate a roundtable on supporting employees in the workplace dealing with domestic violence.

An EXCLUSIVE 10% discount available if you register for the conference online with the VIP discount code ‘WR10’.

Help us to take the next steps in your community

  1. Nominate someone to become a White Ribbon Ambassador in your community.
  2. Get a local business involved in violence prevention by undertaking White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation.
  3. Get a Youth Ambassador Scheme up and running in your local schools.

Support White Ribbon and win this amazing Father's Day Prize!

The Entertainment Book and the Entertainment Digital Membership are your guide to the most popular restaurants, attractions, shopping, travel and more.

Purchase an Entertainment Membership for Dad for Father’s Day and not only will you be supporting our fundraising but you will also go in the draw to WIN the Ultimate Father’s Day Prize - 2 tickets to see Fleetwood Mac + a $400 gift card courtesy of Prezzy Card and 1 nights stay at Stamford Plaza in Auckland! Get your Membership today

Order your Entertainment Book now to support White Ribbon.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

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  • Environment Canterbury
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  • NZ Police
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