New White Ribbon Advisory Committee Chair
August 31, 2016
I am delighted to have the opportunity to take up the role of Chairman of the New Zealand White RibbonAdvisory Committee. The Advisory Committee serves an important role. It supports the annual activities leading up to 25 November, while at the same time allowing government and non-government agencies to work together, to coordinate the campaign and to provide advice. During the year, the Advisory Committee meets about six times to provide advice to the White Ribbon Trust which manages the financial and business side of White Ribbon New Zealand.
There are a number of challenges we face, including ensuring the Advisory Committee remains a conduit to the anti-violence community in New Zealand. I want to ensure we are hearing your voices and that you are feeding your experience and knowledge into the campaign.
To that end I want to find ways to ensure that there is greater representation from the NGO sector so your views and the knowledge as the experts working in the field with the survivors and perpetrators of domestic and family violence are better used to inform the campaign.
Over the last few years I have had the chance to work on a New Zealand Overseas Development Program delivered by the New Zealand Police, working with the police and the communities in the Pacific to reduce the incidence and the harm from domestic and family violence. A key outcome of this work was an Accord reached in 2014 which identified that culture, religion, and tradition are never a valid excuse for abuse.
The Accord called on religious, political, and police leaders to speak out and to act in a positive way to reduce the incidence of violence and to overcome barriers to changing men’s attitudes and community attitudes to the rights of women and girls.
There seem to be a number of similarities between the findings of the Pacific Nadi Accord, and the situation, as I see it, in New Zealand. If all leaders, both political and non-political, community leaders, religious leaders, and other people in positions of authority and who have a public voice were to speak out with one voice, then I think we could see a significant change in the current acceptance of violence as normal.
This is an ideal role for White Ribbon – to enthuse those who want to lead change, and encourage those who have yet to come to the realisation that change is required.
As the Chair I would like to reinforce our existing relationships, such as those with the “It’s not OK” campaign, our White Ribbon Riders, government agencies, corporates and especially with community groups working at the coalface.
White Ribbon New Zealand has 100 men who have chosen to be White Ribbon Ambassadors who carry the message in their own lives, and in the community, that violence will not be tolerated. The mix of Ambassadors, while diverse, would benefit from having a greater representation from the New Zealand Pacific Island community, and with my background, I’m keen to see that the ratio of Ambassadors drawn from the New Zealand Pacific Island community increases.
White Ribbon is an internationally respected and well-known brand. It carries a consistent message that violence will not be tolerated, especially in the domestic and family violence environment. I’m keen to see that the fine reputation of White Ribbon is maintained and to grow the reach of the campaign.
Judge Peter Boshier has left the New Zealand White Ribbon organisation in very good heart, and it is my privilege, and also my challenge, to continue the strong leadership, messaging and example set by Judge Boshier. I look forward to providing support to the other Ambassadors, and to the White Ribbon Campaign Manager, Rob McCann, who carries the day-to-day operations of White Ribbon in such a successful way.
Cam Ronald – Brief Bio
Cam joined the Police in 1972 at Invercargill. The majority of his operational service has been in the Criminal Investigation Branch in Invercargill, Christchurch and Queenstown, with a particular emphasis on gang investigations and criminal intelligence.
He moved from Invercargill to Police Headquarters in 1989 as the OC of Interpol. This was followed by periods on the INCIS computer project, national coordinator of the undercover programme, development of various initiatives for CIB including anti money laundering procedures and the introduction of the national DNA databank, followed by a period as the head of the National Bureau of Criminal Intelligence.
In 2001 he and Jenny undertook a three year diplomatic posting to Canberra as the NZ Police Liaison Officer.
In 2004 he took up the position of Executive Director of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat in Wellington.
Cam retired as a sworn member of the Police in March 2007. He was re – employed by the NZ Police as a programme manager leading a NZ Government regional police programme, the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme (PPDVP), to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in the pacific. Cam has just recently retired from this role and will focus on White Ribbon.
PPDVP has worked with pacific police each year to recognise White Ribbon Day and the 16 Days of Activism on Women’s Rights. Many pacific police services now have White Ribbon day as a regular event in their calendar, and work with other agencies and their communities in various ways, to recognise the significance of the Day. In 2013 the Australian Federal Police accepted an invitation from PPDVP to work together and to offer support to these regional activities.
Cam and Jenny have one son who is a Police Constable working on Youth Aid in Wellington.