Gippsland working together for safer workplaces

ONE Gippsland is partnering with Gippsland Women’s Health and Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault in a unique funding application that aims to reduce gendered violence and sexual harassment in local government workplaces across Gippsland.

The funding application to WorkSafe Victoria aims to build the capacity of local government to respond to gendered violence and sexual harassment in the workplace, and to prevent violence before it occurs.

South Gippsland Shire Council Mayor and Deputy Chair of One Gippsland, Cr Nathan Hersey said: “We are eagerly awaiting the outcome of our funding application and the opportunity to work with Gippsland Women’s Health and Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault to eliminate gendered violence and sexual harassment across all six Gippsland councils.”

“Unfortunately, local government entities in Gippsland have advised the Gender Equality Commission that up to nine per cent of their employees have informally reported sexual harassment in the workplace,” Cr Hersey explained.

“We need to do better to create a safer and more respectful workplace for everyone, and in turn a healthier community.”

Gippsland has some of the highest rates of gendered and family violence in Victoria, with three local government areas ranking in the top four LGA’s in Victoria for family violence reporting, indicating a culture of violence against women that often filters through into the workplace.

Local governments are uniquely placed to influence and drive social change within their workplaces and communities. The National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children and the Victorian Free From Violence Strategy both identify local governments as key drivers of change.

The Respect Fund and Respect Network are funded by the state government and delivered by WorkSafe Victoria.

The outcome of the funding application is anticipated in coming weeks.