Gippsland womens’ health funding for safer workplaces

Wellington Shire Council Mayor and Chair of One Gippsland, Ian Bye, is looking forward to working alongside organisations such as Gippsland Women's Health. Photo: Contributed

GIPPSLAND Women’s Health has received funding for a program that aims to reduce gendered violence and sexual harassment in workplaces across Gippsland.

The project 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.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor and Chair of One Gippsland, Cr Ian Bye, welcomed the funding and the opportunity to work with Gippsland Women’s Health, TAFE Gippsland, Federation University 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 Bye said.

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

Gippsland Women’s Health Chief Executive, Kate Graham, said preventing gendered violence in the workplace was achieved through systemic change.

“This change begins with the support and acknowledgment from the state government, and through the commitment of local government leadership to take action,” Ms Graham said.

“We are excited to continue our work and scale up our efforts with local councils in ending gendered violence, which continues to impact our region year on year.”

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

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