For many years, Banksia Gardens Community Services has been a local pioneer in the push for gender equality and ending violence against women through its Good People Act Now (GPAN) project. In 2019, BGCS made gender equity an organisational key priority area, establishing a gender equity working group to help drive this change across all of the organisation’s operations.
Banksia Gardens Community Services is committed to honouring the rights of all people to dignity, equity, respect, and the freedom to safely express who they are, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and those with diverse bodies. BGCS is devoted to celebrating diversity, valuing and affirming all people who identify as part of the LGBTIQ+ community.
As we strive to create a more equitable workplace and community, we encourage all staff, volunteers and members of the Banksia Gardens and wider Hume community to join us in this journey. We invite you to explore some of the programs specifically looking at gender equality, and to read further about how we are transforming our own practices to be more gender equitable.
Gender equity: what's the problem?
Violence against women and family violence is a growing epidemic in Australia.
The major underlying cause of violence against women is gender inequality. Gender inequality is discrimination on the basis of sex or gender, resulting in unequal treatment, privilege and prioritisation of a sex or gender.
The city of Hume consistently records some of the highest rates of violence against women in Metropolitan Melbourne compared to other local government areas. In 2020, Hume ranked second in Metropolitan Melbourne for rates of family violence (Victorian Women’s Health Atlas).
Violence against women is preventable and we all have the power to make change. We must create a society of equality for all people, regardless of gender. Together, we can make a difference.
Banksia Gardens Community Services Gender Equity Working Group
To address the high rates of family violence in Hume, Banksia Gardens focuses on gender equity as a means of preventing violence against women and creating a more equitable and fair community for all.
In 2019, the organisation established a Gender Equity Working Group to lead this work. Since the working group formed it has:
- Appointed a Gender Equity Coordinator and Gender Equity Officer
- Created the organisation’s first Family Violence Policy and Gender Equity Policy
- Conducted a gender audit of 43 workplace policies
- Conducted multiple ‘Workplace Equality and Respect’ staff surveys
- Sourced training opportunities to upskill staff
- Created equal access to parental leave for staff
Some of the gender equity work at Banksia Gardens was featured in Women’s Health in the North’s publication Preventing Violence against Women: Stories of achievement from Melbourne’s north (2020).
We will continue this work and encourage others to take action to improve gender equity too. If you or your organisation are interested in our experience making these changes, or you want to collaborate on gender equity initiatives, please get in touch.
For more information on gender equity at Banksia Gardens Community Services
For support with family violence, please contact:
Sexual assault, domestic violence and family violence counselling service
Toll Free 1800 737 732
24 hours 7 days a week
Family Violence Response
Toll Free 1800 015 188
24 hours 7 days a week
InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence:
Ph 9413 6500
Toll Free 1800 755 988
9am–5pm Monday to Friday