Wednesday, 07 Dec 2022

White Ribbon Australia backs away from Sydney jetski parade branded beyond offensive

White Ribbon Australia backs away from Sydney jetski parade branded beyond offensive


White Ribbon Australia backs away from Sydney jetski parade branded beyond offensive

White Ribbon Australia has distanced itself from a controversial plan for 50 jetskis to ride on Sydney Harbour.

The fundraising idea for a flotilla of jetskis to form a ribbon shape on Friday's White Ribbon Day has been labeled "tokenistic" and a "tone-deaf stunt" by some anti-violence groups, while others welcomed it as a valuable awareness-raising activity.

The New South Wales Labor opposition declared it "tone deaf", while the director of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, Prof Kate Fitz-Gibbon, said Australia didn't need "jetskis nor tokenistic displays of commitment". March4Justice organiser Janine Hendry said it was "beyond offensive".

While many directed their criticism at White Ribbon, the event was inspired by a similar event in Brisbane and is being coordinated by NSW Maritime, which has organised for a special, one-off exemption to the harbour's ban on personal watercraft.

Allan Ball, White Ribbon's national director, confirmed the event was not organised by the official White Ribbon group.

"This is one of hundreds of events being held across the country to raise awareness and funds for our work in primary prevention, to end men's violence before it begins - advocacy, education, training, workplace accreditation, school programs and supporting the development of community action plans to address men's violence on a local level," he said.

"It is not being organised by White Ribbon Australia."

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