Community leaders light the way for family violence prevention

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On Thursday 2 July, representatives from local Mid West businesses and organisations met together for the first time at the WA Centre for Rural Health to collaborate and develop messages to promote respectful relationships, equality and non-violence to the broader community as part of a family violence prevention project. 

The Conversations for Change ‘Leading Lights’ communications working group includes members from organisations who have signed onto the Community Respect and Equality (CRE) Agreement. 

The aim of Leading Lights is to share what is happening within the CRE organisations and to work together on disseminating messages to increase community awareness and understanding of family violence and related social norms. 

Organisations signed up to the CRE Agreement have a role in informing their staff about being in a safe respectful workplace and their commitment to the CRE. But can do more by sharing what they are doing more broadly with the community. Good coordination via the Leading Lights group will strengthen these messages, help to prevent family violence from occurring and support those who are impacted by family violence. 

Director of the WA Centre for Rural Health Professor Sandra Thompson says ‘I am optimistic that by working together strategically to develop and promote messaging about respectful relationships, equality and non-violence we can accelerate conversations for change in our community. We want people not just say ‘violence is not okay’, we want them to actively pursue other ways of understanding and resolving difference and conflict.’ 

Desert Blue Connect CEO Russell Pratt says that ‘Organisations can play an important role in addressing practices, attitudes norms and behaviours that underpin family violence.’ 

‘By signing onto the CRE Agreement you are showing your employees that their organisation commits to actions in the workplace to prevent family violence and to support those experiencing family violence,’ says Mr Pratt. 

The CRE initiative aims to inspire, innovate and connect community leaders, sectors and service organisations, and government to work together on creative and sustainable strategies for the primary prevention of family violence in Geraldton. 

Funded by Healthway, Conversations for Change seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention of family violence initiatives associated with the CRE through the implementation of key initiatives including this communications strategy and measuring change through the Local Attitudes and Exposure to Violence Survey that was undertaken in October 2019 and will be rolled out again in 2021. 

If you are a Mid West business or organisation wanting to find out how to lead the way in tackling family violence in our community, contact the WA Centre for Rural Health on 9956 0200 or Desert Blue Connect on 9964 2742 or visit the website

Photo caption: Representatives from local Midwest organisations met on Thursday 2 July for the first Community, Respect & Equality ‘Leading Lights’ communications working group session at the WA Centre for Rural Health in Geraldton.

Media contact: Mia Jeffrey, Marketing and Communications Officer - (08) 9956 0225 -