Local committee left ‘devastated’ as White Ribbon folds
ORGANISERS of Noosa’s White Ribbon Walk are devastated the event will not go ahead this year after the peak anti domestic violence body went into liquidation.
It comes as domestic and family violence breaches spike in the region by more than 35 per cent in just a year.
Chairman of the former Noosa White Ribbon Committee, Bob Birkhead, said he was “very disappointed” the event, which fell under the White Ribbon Australia banner, would not take place on November 22.
“We were totally stunned and devastated,” Mr Birkhead said.
“So much planning has gone into the event and we have had to walk away.
“It’s totally outside of our control, we are in between a rock and a hard place.”
In an online statement, White Ribbon Australia announced its liquidation after an “analysis of the organisation’s future sustainability”.
“It is with profound sadness that the board of White Ribbon Australia informs the community and supporters that it has taken the very difficult decision to close its doors,” the statement read.
Noosa’s White Ribbon Committee was only formed in August last year ahead of their inaugural walk held on International White Ribbon Day.
“The responses this year from sporting clubs and locals schools far exceeded the numbers last year,” Mr Birkhead said.
While the walk will not go ahead for 2019, Mr Birkhead said those involved in the Noosa and Sunshine Coast committees would look at other options to continue advocacy across the region.
“We need to look at other avenues to continue the message of saying no to domestic violence.
“The message won’t cease, we can’t walk away totally.”
In Noosa alone, domestic violence cases account for about 50 per cent of local police officer’s time.
Noosa police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Ben Carroll said the 2018/19 financial year had significantly more offences than the year prior.
“We have seen a 36.7 per cent increase in our breach of Domestic and Family Violence Act offences over the last financial year as opposed to the previous 17/18 financial year,” he said.
“This is about 33 more reported offences this year than last financial year.”