Written by Managing Director & CEO Lance Hockridge
In recent weeks, the silent scourge that is domestic violence in Australia has taken on a very tragic human face with several terrible incidents in Queensland. Sadly, we know that is happening in households across the nation each and every day.
These events underline the extent to which domestic violence is an issue for all of us - as individuals, as businesses and as communities.
As a business leader, I feel that organisations and our employees have a part to play in stopping family violence. We need to raise awareness and to have the conversation regularly and openly in our companies about why it's not okay.
Within Aurizon, we have made clear our standard: that there is no circumstance in which such behaviour can be tolerated; and have provided a range of support mechanisms designed to both help prevent such unacceptable behaviours and support those who have nonetheless suffered from domestic violence.
I am also part of the Queensland Male Champions of Change, a group of senior business leaders who are taking a public stand on improving diversity and inclusiveness in Queensland workplaces. We know that men hold a significantly larger portion of senior positions. Given the importance of leadership in driving change, male involvement and leadership on this issue is essential if more is to be achieved.
Likewise with the issue of domestic violence. Men need to stand up and speak out. They need to talk to other men, to young men and to boys, and why it's not okay to be violent towards women. Family violence is often hidden but that's not excuse to ignore the impact.
As a husband, father and grandfather I am appalled not just at these recent tragic incidents but at any such incident known or unknown, publicised or unpublicised. I am committed to supporting anti-domestic violence campaigns, including The Courier Mail's Stand Up involving Queensland's community and business leaders. Education, awareness and courageous conversations need to continue if we're going to make a difference.