As Father’s Day approaches this Sunday, we are excited to announce that Stopping Family Violence’s Chief Executive Officer Damian Green has been collaborating with White Ribbon to create a series of endearing and honest videos entitled: ‘Let’s Talk About What it Means to be a Father’.
White Ribbon Ambassador Damian has worked closely on this project through the White Ribbon Fatherhood Project Reference Group and has helped shape the series and offered expert guidance along the way.
Damian said it was a crucial part of the work of SFV to reframe the ideas around masculinity and understanding that being a good dad also means being a good partner.
“Being an involved partner and a good dad is a good thing for men and most guys in men’s behaviour change programs do want to be a good dad. It shakes those foundations when they understand what they do to their partner also affects their children,” he said.
“We are calling for all men to stand up, recognise their behaviour and work towards doing better.”Damian Green
This Father’s Day White Ribbon is calling on fathers and father-figures to have conversations with their children about their fathering and how their fathering and relationships shape who they are.
The ‘Let’s Talk About What it Means to be a Father’ campaign highlights the positive impact fathers and male role-models have in a child’s life and how that influences the children for life and even in their own parenting through the next generation.
White Ribbon Chair, Tony Pearson said the role of a father has an important place in a child’s life.
“Research shows strong positive bonds between fathers and their children has a positive impact on the relationships they will have as adults,” he said.
“That’s why we’re asking all fathers and father-figures to reflect on and understand the important role they play in raising the next generation with values of respect, gender equality and, ultimately, violence prevention.”
“The conversations they have today with their children, will shape the person they become tomorrow.”Tony Pearson
The short videos feature a number of different men from all walks of life, including community leaders, talking with their children about parenting. Some incredible insightful conversations were started as the questions were being asked.
One participant in the ‘Noe and David’ video, son David said masculinity was often seen as strong and tough, however through his upbringing he had witnessed a different side of being a man.
“Being gentle, warm and kind is the manliest thing,” he said.
Talking about different ideas of masculinity, in the ‘Charlie and Byron’ video, father Charlie said that respect was about communication, but more importantly listening with your heart more than your ears.
“Masculinity doesn’t need to be like strength; it can be loving and caring,” he said.
In the ‘Deepak and Rajat’ video, father Deepak said it was time to end domestic violence and violence against women once and for all.
“I need more males coming forward, standing with me shoulder to shoulder to stop domestic violence.”Deepak – Video participant
These lessons and conversations are important and as White Ribbon echo through their campaign and the messages filtering out about a new understanding of masculinity, we teach the children today and effectively shape the person they will become tomorrow. Let’s be wise in those decisions and father with our whole heart.
Words by Jacqui O’Leary