Allison’s Gift bystander training

Rio Tinto has reinforced its commitment to promoting safe, healthy and respectful relationships in the communities where it operates with local Gladstone employees taking part in the launch of ‘Allison’s Gift’ domestic and family violence awareness training in June 2019.

Founded by the Allison Baden-Clay Foundation and Griffith University, Allison’s Gift, by The MATE (Motivating Action Through Empowerment) Bystander Programme, aims to teach participants how to identify warning signs of abuse, especially non-physical abuse, and how to intervene safely in domestic and family violence situations. Allison Baden-Clay was murdered by her husband in Brisbane in 2012, and her story is woven throughout the programme.

Vanessa Fowler, Allison’s sister, along with Griffith University Director of The MATE Bystander Programme Shaan Ross-Smith delivered the first of three training sessions to employees of Rio Tinto’s Yarwun Alumina Refinery, Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL) and Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) at the Kalori Training and Conference Centre in Tannum Sands.

The programme has since been extended to Rio Tinto employees across Australia and New Zealand, with a number of training sessions held in its Brisbane and Perth hubs, and at New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS).

“Allison’s Gift aims to educate every individual in the dynamic of power and control and how this manifests in many ways to create abuse,” Vanessa said. “I urge others to learn how to become an effective bystander to domestic and family violence by learning to identify the signs of someone experiencing abuse in their relationship and how to intervene to stop it.”

Boyne Smelters Limited general manager Joe Rea explained that Rio Tinto’s support of Allison’s Gift Programme continues the company’s commitment to calling out disrespectful behaviour and reinforcing healthy, equal relationships free from violence in the communities where it operates.

Gladstone was chosen as the location for the launch due to its partnership with Male Champions of Change (MCC) which recognised the opportunity to pilot a collective response from a large regional community with its “Gladstone Free from Domestic and Family Violence” project. The programme launch coincided with the Queensland Government’s Not Now, Not Ever campaign to raise awareness and encourage community participation during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.