The Zonta Club of Mt Barker, Australia, partners with the local domestic violence unit of South Australia Police (SAPOL), a mental health worker from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS) and the Eastern Fleurieu School’s campuses to deliver the Expect Respect program to 6th year students, ages 11-12.
The program teaches the children about respectful relationships, domestic violence and bullying. The program is a key tool to help break the cycle of domestic violence that can run in families by teaching the children how recognize the various forms of domestic violence and also how to recognize other issues that may occur, such as depression and bullying, and where to seek help. This year, 80 students took part in the program.
Each year, with assistance from their art teacher, the students produce a piece of artwork that delivers their own message of what they have learned throughout the program. This year’s theme was about the eye and what it sees, what it chooses not to see and what it decides to take action on. The students drew a picture of an eye and then added a caption or saying from their learning that meant something to them.
The school chose pieces of artwork to be made into a calendar and printed. Each student who participated received a copy of the calendar and the club sold copies to raise funds for next year’s program. The calendar was launched on White Ribbon Day at an assembly held at the school. The school’s principal believes in the program so much that he became a White Ribbon ambassador in 2016.
Through this collaboration, ninth year students from the school volunteered their time as part of their Rite Journey program to make White Ribbon Badges for White Ribbon Day. The club has expanded this partnership to include other age groups. The ninth year students were given a brief introduction the White Ribbon Day, and there were discussions while they were making the ribbons.