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The devastating effects of domestic and family violence (DFV) are more prominent today as this previously ‘taboo’ issue is finally being publicly recognised and addressed. Toowoomba Grammar School is proud to be leading the way in creating generational change for this sensitive issue through a variety of School initiatives and by supporting community groups associated with DFV. Our programs are aimed at developing good men of the future who will “Stand Up and Speak Out.”

TGS became a White Ribbon School in 2017, making a commitment to help stop violence against women. We support the White Ribbon program of “Breaking the Silence” through our strong culture of respect and equality at all levels in the School community; through our curriculum, role modelling, domestic violence programs and community partnerships. We regularly have guest speakers from Protea Place, the Domestic Violence Action Centre (DVAC) and other DV support organisations address our boys about the impact of domestic violence on men, women and children.

Students in Years 11 and 12 are invited to be part of our School’s White Ribbon Committee each year, so that there is a constant flow of new young men exposed to this important committee and issues. This year, 60 boys have volunteered their time to be part of this group which is responsible for developing initiatives and White Ribbon events at School to raise awareness of DFV.

TGS was asked to assist Toowoomba Together with its “Not In Our Community” campaign earlier this year. This video involved our senior leaders speaking out against domestic violence and our Years 7 to 12 students gathering for a “blazer show” which was filmed on the Terraces. This video has been shared with the broader Toowoomba community, and we are proud to be part of this initiative.

The DVAC hosted the Domestic and Family Violence Remembrance Day March and Candle Lighting Ceremony on Wednesday, 4 May. TGS was represented, proudly leading the march, and Year 12 Prefect, Jamie Watson, was privileged to be a guest speaker.

Jamie told the gathering that be believes in developing and encouraging respectful relationships from a young age, and that a respectful relationship is a two-way street, meaning it is one of mutual respect, trust, good communication and honesty.

“I think all young people across the world can practice respectful relationships right from the very first day of their schooling,” he stated.

“At Toowoomba Grammar, we practice positive and respectful encounters everyday with teachers, fellow students, parents, nurses, grounds staff and so on.”

Jamie said TGS students are encouraged to be upstanders and call out excluding behaviour, words and actions.

“This empowers students to positively reinforce those core values of respect and positivity which will hopefully echo into their adulthood and the rest of their lives,” affirmed Jamie.

Boarding is at the heart of TGS with students from other cities, remote country areas and overseas.

“Our goal is to spread this message of respectful relationships and for it to be taken back to those communities; hopefully a ripple effect will occur, spreading this vital message throughout Australia and the world,” Jamie said.

“If we truly want this behaviour to be long lasting, we must not only educate today’s youth, but inspire them to put what they have learned into practice and share with those around them.”

Jamie said he has personally witnessed this positive change and understanding grow and develop during his time at TGS, and he believes that shows that persistence is key.

“Wouldn’t it be great for all members of society to have positive experiences, healthy relationships and opportunities to learn?” he asked.

“For everyone to understand right from wrong. For people to respect others, and respect themselves. It is important we understand the cycle of violence. Not all disrespect results in violence. But all violence starts with disrespect.

“I hope we can be the generation that helps shape a brighter future when it comes to domestic and family violence.”

'Not In Our Community'

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