This was the first White Ribbon Day breakfast I've been to, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, apart from a delicious breakfast and an opportunity to network and meet others who are committed to ending violence in their communities. White Ribbon is a foundation that focusses on ending men's violence against women so I was pleased to be supporting this cause and representing the One Million Stars project. All proceeds from this event and raffle go to White Ribbon Australia and DV Connect.
I was thrilled to see that there were stars displayed on the stage where a panel of men from different experiences and work would share with us and a women's choir would entertain us with their divine voices.
The MC for the breakfast and chair of panel was Kylie Lang, Associate Editor of The Courier-Mail. The panel focused on discussion about championing cultural change across our diverse community to end men’s violence against women. The panelists were (left to right): Tasman Bain Co-Founder and Deputy Director of Meri Toksave, Antonio Chevez Tribal Leader of the Maya Lenca People of Central America, Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing Strategy, Policy and Performance, Queensland Police Service, Steve Renouf White Ribbon Ambassador and rugby league great and Father Dimitri Tsakas Greek Orthodox Church of St George, Brisbane.
I was particularly inspired by Father Dimitri Tsakas and Antonio Chevez and their deeper thinking about why men's violence happens. Antonio spoke of the break down of community support and 'village life' and the individual nature of society in Western civilisations today while Father Dimitri spoke of human values of productivity and self care and that when these are denied or not valued in society, mean can act out in violent ways when really they are desperate for empathy and support.
I got to meet Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and managed to get a photo with her and another amazing woman, Jacque Lachmund, CEO of CEO Challenge Australia.
After the breakfast, I visited Brisbane City Library where they had a final star weave jam. They collected over 10,000 woven stars through libraries across Brisbane City Council, with about 2,000 stars on display on a wooden tree frame designed by Shed West Men's Shed.
I even got to do a short interview with Lachlan Kennedy from Channel 10. You can catch a glimpse of it at @tennewsqld on twitter.
Of course, one can't go past the delicious cup cakes with edible stars by @CupcakesbyK that we got to feast on during our star weave jam.