Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace, hosted the Wellington region’s newest White Ribbon Ambassadors, including himself, last week to present them with white ribbons recognising their role as ambassadors. Lower Hutt’s five new ambassadors are: Gabriel Tupou, Gregguil (Greg) Besa, Rajneil (Raj) Prasad, James (Jimmy) Ballantyne and Mayor Ray Wallace.
These men are from all walks of life and are standing up to say ‘No’ to family violence by taking the pledge to work for a violence free community!
The reality is that most men are not violent, but all it takes for bad things to happen is for good people to do nothing.
In the developed world, we have the highest rate of reported violence towards women so, why do New Zealanders stay on the side lines so often? We need to get in the game to prevent violence from occurring but most of us will not intervene, and do not feel confident to voice our opposition to men’s violence against women. By standing up for respect, we can make whānau, families and communities safe places for everyone.
If you would like to make this pledge too you can do so at www.whiteribbon.org.nz
Monday 12 November marked the launch of the 2018 White Ribbon Campaign – Stand Up.
So get involved and take action! Stand Up!
A bit about a few of Lower Hutt’s White Ribbon ambassadors:
Ray is in his third term as Mayor of Lower Hutt, and is a co-patron for the Safe Hutt Valley network – a group of organisations committed to promoting safety in the Hutt Valley and reducing the number and severity of preventable harm incidents. Within the council environment, Ray stresses an open door policy where anyone with family violence issues can ask for support. A strong sense of community mindedness has seen Ray involved with numerous community projects such as fundraising for the local volunteer fire brigade, organising food bank appeals and coordinating youth awards. He has been a Justice of the Peace for 24 years. In his role as a White Ribbon Ambassador, Ray wants to help lift the awareness of family violence and stress that it is not okay.
RAJNEIL (RAJ) PRASAD
Rajneil Prasad was born in Fiji and has lived in New Zealand for over 13 years. Raj works for Airways Corporation and is the President Elect for the Rotary Club of Hutt River Valley.
Raj describes himself as a “simple guy” and believes in simple grassroots objectives. He believes that all lives matter and in improving one life at a time. His upbringing has taught him a lot and has shaped his present and he believes that the lessons learned and actions done now will dictate his pathway into the future.
JAMES (JIMMY) BALLANTYNE
Jimmy is currently a Senior Security Advisor for the Ministry of Justice. In the past, he has been a Soldier, Police Constable, and Council Officer. Over the years he has worked to reduce family violence in Auckland, Palmerston North, and the Hutt Valley.
As the father of a 21-year-old son, and a 12-year- old daughter, he has committed to being a role-model for them, and imparting the need for respect and non-violence within Whanau and families, especially towards our women and children.
As an Ambassador Jimmy welcomes the privilege of continuing this as a White Ribbon Ambassador. He believes that being a man means that you are strong enough to care, and show you care.