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White Ribbon Australia to see another day

25 November 2019 at 5:05 pm
Maggie Coggan
The anti-domestic violence charity is set to be resurrected via a new acquisition deal  

Maggie Coggan | 25 November 2019 at 5:05 pm


White Ribbon Australia to see another day
25 November 2019 at 5:05 pm

The anti-domestic violence charity is set to be resurrected via a new acquisition deal  

Just months after White Ribbon shut its doors, a Perth-based domestic violence charity has stepped in to revive the collapsed group.    

Communicare announced on Thursday – a day ahead of White Ribbon Day – that it had acquired White Ribbon Australia’s intellectual property following a deal with liquidators Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants.

Liquidators were forced to take over White Ribbon in October after it was revealed the charity was nearly $1 million in debt. 

Communicare CEO Melissa Perry said she couldn’t imagine Australia without the White Ribbon campaign and that Communicare was well placed to provide the strong governance and leadership needed to secure a sustainable future for the charity. 

“White Ribbon Australia aligns with our values and reflects our long-standing commitment to eliminating violence against women and children,” Perry said.

“As a White Ribbon accredited organisation and school, we’ve seen first-hand how accreditation provides tools to strengthen a culture of respect, accountability and gender equality at all levels of the organisation.”

Communicare has operated for over 20 years in the family and domestic violence space and pioneered the first residential men’s behaviour change program in the southern hemisphere, offering an alternative to removing women and children from their family home. 

Perry told The Australian the acquisition was an opportunity for White Ribbon to “go back to a grassroots level”.   

“There is an opportunity for us to reimagine what that looks like,” Perry said.

“We need to be engaging boys and men in this conversation… we need more men and boys talking about this to other men and boys.”

It comes after White Ribbon was widely condemned late last year after it removed its pro-choice reproductive position statement from its website when abortion was decriminalised in Queensland.

Three weeks later, Tracy McLeod Howe was ousted as CEO after just three months in the role.

Then in November, chair Nicholas Cowdrey QC resigned as chair after after an ABC documentary aired comments he made about the sex life of convicted baby killer Keli Lane.

White Ribbon Canada executive director Humberto Carolo welcomed the acquisition and said he looked forward to collaborating with Communicare. 

“It is reassuring that Communicare, whose values and commitment align so well with the White Ribbon movement, will provide substantial experience and strong governance to the important work of White Ribbon Australia,” Carolo said.  

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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