Hutt at Heart

Jimmy Ballantyne, a White Ribbon Ambassador

When White Ribbon Ambassador Jimmy Ballantyne was a kid, family violence was something he regularly heard permeating the walls.

“I didn’t grow up with a privileged background. I used to hear my neighbours fighting. Mum used to call the police and let the kids stay with us.

“She was passionate about doing her part to prevent family violence and stop the cycle and I guess that is what rubbed off on me.”

Jimmy has been active in family violence prevention for nearly his whole working life. With a professional profile including years as a Solder, a Police Constable, City Safety Officer, CCTV Volunteer and Senior Security Advisor he was an easy choice to be a White Ribbon Ambassador.

“I was nominated by Deb Robinson from the Hutt Union and Community Health Services, in the beginning of 2018, to be a White Ribbon Ambassador.  I filled out a form, did a personal review and was selected.”

Ambassadors are chosen for their willingness to challenge the behaviour of abusive men, and to convey key messages directly to their own communities.

“As a familiar face in Lower Hutt and active in family violence prevention it made sense for me to lead and actively support the White Ribbon kaupapa.”

Jimmy is currently working as a Senior Security Advisor at the Ministry of Justice developing policy and procedures, investigating security incidents and providing advice to staff.  He is also part of a small New Zealand team trained to assist employees with family violence, his role – to listen and link them with external providers.

“We have an impressive White Ribbon Group in the Hutt Valley. Our cluster manager, Ron Vink is capable and passionate and the group is growing and willing to get involved.

“I have a 22 year old son and a 13 year old daughter. It’s important to me that they grow up strong and confident and that I pass the White Ribbon values through to them.

“I hope they continue the passion I have for making the Hutt Valley a safe place for families.”

White Ribbon Campaign Trust is the Charity Partner for HighLight: Carnival of Lights 2019. All funds raised by HighLight and the events sponsors will be for the benefit of White Ribbon. For more information on how you can help, go to: whiteribbon.org.nz

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Subscribe to Hutt at Heart – Te Manawa, your monthly email newsletter where you can find out about fantastic things going on across our city and at Hutt City Council.