Domestic Family Violence Awareness
Mackay Regional Council is at the forefront of a regional push to eliminate domestic and family violence (DFV) from our streets. As the Mackay region’s largest employer, council is also leading by example when it comes to fostering a respectful working environment and policy that supports victims of DFV.
Due to its proactive approach, council was selected as the only Queensland council to be part of the Federal Government’s Local Council Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Toolkit.
The toolkit provides evidence-based resources, tools and templates to enable, empower and encourage councils to begin to take action, and sustain this action to reduce DFV.
The opportunity has enabled Mackay Regional Council to work on the internal and external prevention of DFV.
Council is also driving the Mackay Draws the Line campaign in partnership with the Mayor’s DV Taskforce, which is made up of business leaders in the community.
This campaign and taskforce aims to tackle domestic and family violence by leading conversations in business and the community and developing networks and strategies that get the message out that our community does not accept violence of any kind.
In May 2019, council expanded this campaign with a series of free stickers for the community – a book sticker, bumper sticker and bin sticker. The stickers, released to coincide with Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, aim to start the conversation about Domestic and Family Violence, raise awareness of these issues, provide support and paint a clear message that Mackay draws the line against these behaviours.
Collect your free sticker from any Mackay Regional Council Library or customer service centre, or from school Zonta clubs and George Street Neighbourhood Centre.
White Ribbon Accreditation for council
If we know our values and what type of traits we want in our leaders we should know what type of culture we will get. A good culture is one where everyone in the organisation has a shared understanding of what they’re trying to achieve and who know when it is not working.
Addressing domestic family violence issues in our community and workplace will require leadership at levels of the organisation. The type of culture that will emanate from leadership will be a positive and safe workplace.
The White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program is a program that engenders a whole of organisation commitment to stop violence against women, meeting 15 criteria under three standards to create a safer and more respectful workplace.
A baseline survey was conducted in November 2018 to measure employee attitudes towards violence against women.
Council has undertaken the accreditation process to:
- Benchmark the internal policy, processes and practises against an external standard
- Reinforce the Council’s commitment to stopping violence against women in a public manner
- Access external resources and support to deliver on this commitment
- Deliver a comprehensive workplace outcome that enables the stopping of violence against women in the Mackay community
Other Domestic and Family Violence council initiatives
2017 Certified Agreement
34. DOMESTIC & FAMILY VIOLENCE LEAVE
34.1. An employee experiencing domestic and family violence will have access to up to twenty (20) days per year of paid special leave for medical appointments, legal proceedings and other activities related to domestic and family violence. This leave will be in addition to existing leave entitlements and may be taken as consecutive or single days, or as a fraction of a day, and can be taken without prior approval in extenuating circumstances.
34.2. An employee who supports a person experiencing domestic and family violence may take carer’s
leave to accompany them to court, to hospital, or to mind children.
34.3. The Manager People & Culture may request proof of domestic and family violence prior to the granting of Domestic and Family Violence Leave
34.4. The Council commits to continue to have a Policy that in approved situations outlines the leave to be used to cover time off for domestic and family violence events and support provided by the Council as detailed in the existing policy. However, the amount of special leave (up to twenty (20) days per year) will not change for the life of this Agreement.
Council Domestic Family Violence Policy (#048)
To provide a confidential set of support services in the workplace for times an employee may be a subject to, or a support person to a victim of, domestic family violence and to ensure employees are prohibited from using workplace resources such as work time, phone, email, computer, fax, vehicles or other means to threaten, harass, intimidate or otherwise harm another person.
Council adopted a Domestic Family Violence Policy in 2014, in response to a recommendation by the CEO. This policy complements the suite of policies available to council employees. In 2017, council adopted a broader awareness program for its staff in conjunction with a broader community awareness program.
The circumstances surrounding the Domestic Family Violence situation will be unique to each individual. Council will review and consider each situation and the support requirements on a case by case basis. The provision of the support will not be arbitrarily time bound.
Council does not tolerate violence of any type, perceived or real, in the workplace.
Council reinforces the Values of ‘Respect’ and ‘Employee Health and Safety’ with this policy.
6.0 Policy Statement
Council recognises that employees sometimes face situations of violence or abuse in their personal life that may affect their attendance or performance at work. Therefore, council is committed to providing support to employees that experience domestic family violence.