Monthly Archives: March 2019

Could we as men commit to taking a stand against Violence?

Thursday 28 – Sun 31 March 2019 marks the annual national fundraising period for White Ribbon Australia. The stated aim of White Ribbon Australia is the ending of men’s violence towards women and children. Relationships Australia NT Counsellor, Barry, shares some reflections about the issue of men’s violence towards women and children

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For many men, this is not an easy issue to reflect upon and to face up to, but it is vital to do this. Statistics in Australia to do with family and domestic violence, murder and sexual assault make for appalling reading when it comes to the involvement of men as offenders and women and children (and sometimes other men) as victims. It’s also important that we as men resist the invitation to dismiss violence as “Something that some few bad men do. Most of us are good men and would never behave violently”

The unfortunate reality is that we live in a culture which still promotes dominant or violent ways of being and behaving for men.

As long as the influence of this culture remains, there is unspoken ‘permission’ for men to speak and act in violent or abusive ways.  We as men need to take collective responsibility for noticing attitudes and beliefs that promote dominant or violent ways of being and work to replace these with attitudes that promote respectful ways of being.

In my work as a relationships counsellor, I’ve heard reasonably frequently over the years men saying that their female partner ‘nags’ them. It would probably be useful for all men to reflect on questions such as:

  • Where does this idea of ‘nagging’ come from?
  • Is it a hangover from an outdated understanding that ‘the man is the boss’ and his female partner should not be questioning his words and actions?
  • Does using or even thinking the term ‘nagging’ get in the way of equality, and also get in the way of a man being able to listen to a legitimate complaint from his partner?
  • Could a more respectful idea be a willingness from all men to reflect upon the impacts of their words and actions on their female partners?

“Words matter”, as stated by a commentator on the recent terrible events in Christchurch

As indicated above, collective action by men is required if a stand is to be taken against dominant or violent beliefs and behaviours, and for respectful beliefs and behaviours. The ‘No More’ program in the Northern Territory is a good example of such collective action. Arising from consultation with male Aboriginal elders, ‘No More’ uses the popularity of ‘footy’ in the NT to invite the members of men’s teams to link arms to symbolise a commitment to No More Violence towards women and children. White Ribbon is another example of such collective action

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Could we as men commit to the sort of individual and collective efforts outlined above to take a stand against Violence and for Respect?

 

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Harmony Day – let’s celebrate Australia’s diversity

On March 21, Australians celebrate Harmony Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

“These celebrations are an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the richness of Australia’s diversity,” said the National Executive Officer for Relationships Australia, Mr Nick Tebbey.
“Relationships Australia believes our social fabric is strengthened by embracing and celebrating our diversity, including the ancient ongoing culture of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through to the most recently arrived families.

“Relationships Australia, like others wishes to convey our sadness and condolences to the families and communities impacted by the tragic events in Christchurch last week, and stand united with our diverse workforce and the many Australians from different backgrounds that we work with each year.

“We acknowledge the grief and shock that these events have triggered and we call on all Australians to join forces to overcome racism and discrimination.

“On Harmony Day 2019, Relationships Australia notes the importance of healthy relationships between and among all Australians.

“We believe Harmony Day is an opportunity to strengthen existing partnerships and build new connections as well as a chance to celebrate and promote inclusion and diversity in all that we do,” Mr Tebbey said.

5 easy ways to celebrate Neighbour Day on 31st March

Neighbour Day is Australia’s annual celebration of community, encouraging people to connect with those who live in their neighbourhood.

We’ve come up with 5 easy ways for you to celebrate with your neighbours.

1. Host a bbq

The great Australian tradition, there is nothing like bonding over good food. Encourage everyone to bring a dish and you’ll have a full feast in no time!

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2. Invite them over for a cuppa

Great conversations can happen over a cup of tea or coffee. A debrief with your neighbour over a cuppa can benefit you both.

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3. Write them a note or letter

Has your neighbour helped you out with something in the past? Write them a short letter or note letting them know how you appreciated it.

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4. Use your local park

The territory is lucky enough to have some great parks around. Invite some neighbours down to the park for a picnic or ask them to bring the kids for a playdate at the playground.

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5. Have a chat at the fence

A quick catch up can go a long way when someone is feeling lonely. Chat in the front yard, this way other neighbours are encouraged to join in.

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For more information about neighbour day, visit the neighbour day website.