City of Ballarat takes action to end violence against women

CEO WHG Marianne Hendron and Mayor Cr Des Hudson outside the Ballarat Town Hall on Sturt Street

The City of Ballarat has launched a campaign calling for other organisations, businesses, clubs and groups to join with them to address gender-based violence.

With a number of high-profile cases of gender-based violence occurring in Ballarat this year, the community is rightfully looking for ways to address this growing issue. About 16 per cent of all women allegedly killed in Australia this year, have died in the Ballarat region.

The campaign is aiming to raise awareness of the important work led by Women’s Health Grampians through the Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE) alliance.

CoRE is a partnership of more than 120 organisations, businesses, clubs, groups and networks from across the Grampians Region that share a vision for safe, equal and respectful communities. CoRE Members commit to the CoRE Strategy to prevent violence against women and their children.  

As a leading employer in the Ballarat region, the City of Ballarat is an active member of CoRE and is committed to taking collective, evidence-based action over the long term.

Some of the key actions being taken by the City of Ballarat include:

  • Implementing Active Bystander Training which is an interactive 90-minute program designed to provide tips and techniques for how to challenge sexism, discrimination and harassment. Additional training is also provided through an Introduction to Gender Equality Induction training module.
  • Offering City of Ballarat staff 20 days of paid family violence leave per year.
  • Supporting community initiatives focused on family violence through our Community Impact and Partnership grants programs.  
  • Building strong partnerships with local family violence services to support specialist referral of families accessing Family and Children’s Services (including Parent Place, Supported Playgroups, Children’s Centres and Family Day Care), Immunisation and Maternal and Child Health programs.
  • Developing a Fair Access Policy to improve access to and use of community sports infrastructure for women and girls.
  • Embedding Gender Impact Assessments in all new programs, policies and services that have a direct impact on the public.
  • Delivering the Free from Violence Local Government Program 2024-27.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said it was important that the Ballarat community moves from a state of shock and grief to one of constructive evidence-based action.

“I think it’s vital the City of Ballarat, as an original founding member of the Communities of Respect and Equality Alliance, lead the way in addressing gender-based violence,” Cr Hudson said.

“According to the latest estimates, nearly one in three women aged 15 years and older, have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, non-partner or both, at least once in their lifetime.

“These statistics highlight that it’s so important we must all become active bystanders and call out disrespect, sexism and violence against women whenever we see it. CoRE has a range of tools and support available for organisations, sporting groups, clubs and groups to take action in a meaningful, lasting way.”

CEO of Women’s Health Grampians, Marianne Hendron says that community is at the heart of change.  

“The evidence shows that collective action makes a difference. We work with many organisations across our city who share a vision for building safe, inclusive and respectful communities.  

“This is long-term work, the kind of work that builds a strong foundation for generations to come in whatever sphere of influence an organisation happens to have. We can and absolutely are making change - but it requires proactive commitment and courage from all of us.”

For more information about CoRE visit