ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Ride to End Men’s Violence Against Women supporters, and Mildura Council staff members, Mike Mooney, Jason Kane and Lennard Wilmot with Mildura Councillor and White Ribbon Ambassador Mark Eckel. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

By VINNIE RODI

MILDURA Rural City Council is gearing up for its third ‘Ride to End Men’s Violence Against Women’, this year aiming to raise $4000 for White Ribbon Australia.

The ride will take place this Sunday from 9am, and will see motorcycle enthusiasts travel from Mildura to Euston via Hattah and Robinvale in an effort to raise funds and awareness regarding the role White Ribbon plays in driving cultural change.

Council first got involved in the national ‘Ride Sunday’ event two years ago, which aims to bring people with a passion for motorbikes together, while enabling them to ride and fund-raise for causes close to their hearts.  

Two years ago, a group of Council staff decided to get involved and raise money for White Ribbon, with that first ride involving four staff.  

Last year, Council expanded the event to include the wider community, with around 40 riders and their passengers taking part.

Participants will this year meet at Council’s Madden Avenue offices this Sunday at 9am for a 10.30am departure, with lunch to be held at the Euston Club. Cost is $30 per rider, or $40 per rider with pillion, with 100 percent of proceeds going to White Ribbon.

Council’s Employee Relations Officer, and White Ribbon Ambassador, Tim Rodger, sat down with the Mildura Weekly this week to discuss the ride, and its importance.

“This is an opportunity for motorcycle riders to come together for a good cause, and we’re certainly looking to raise as much money as we can, and you don’t have to take part in the ride to donate,” he said.

“Last year we raised $2173, so we would certainly like to raise a bit more than that.”

Council has boasted a long and sustained relationship with White Ribbon Australia for several years, becoming the first White Ribbon-accredited workplace in the region back in March 2016.

“White Ribbon is a really important cause for Council,” Mr Rodger said. “Council has approximately 600 staff, and we have slightly more females than males in our organisation, and as people know we just appointed a new female CEO (see Page 18), which is a great thing for the organisation I believe.

“The statistics say that one in three women have experienced some form of domestic violence in their life. So with 600 Council staff, and around 300 women, that’s probably 100 women in our organisation who have experienced some form of domestic violence.

“White Ribbon is one way that we can help those women in our organisation with this horrible thing in our society.

“We believe that we have a responsibility in the community to  shine a spotlight on this horrible situation… and our region unfortunately does have high rates of domestic violence, and we’re trying to help with that by promoting White Ribbon.”

For more information about this Sunday’s Ride to End Men’s Violence Against Women event, contact Jason Kane at jason.kane@mildura.vic.gov.au. People can also register for the ride online, just visit www.mildura.vic.gov.au/whiteribbonride, or they can register on the day.