Ian McBurney rejects violence against women

Ian McBurney.

Ian McBurney.

In the lead up to the Violence Prevention - It's Everybody's Business Conference in October, the Bendigo Advertiser is profiling the conference ambassadors.

BENDIGO man Ian McBurney says gender inequality is often a result of gender stereotypes, which society inflicts on children from a very young age.

"I think it starts with blue and pink in K-Mart," Mr McBurney said.

"We have horrible ways about talking about girls and boys in gender.

"There's a study showing the way people relate to babies based on the colour of their clothes - they would be nurturing to the ones in pink but playful with the ones in blue. We're putting these ridiculous gender stereotypes on people at a very young age."

Mr McBurney, a sustainability speaker, is one of the ambassadors of October's violence prevention conference.

He said he found it difficult to fathom that men were violent towards their partners.

"I can't believe it does happen, given the value I have in my own life from incredible female mentors," he said, adding that his mother Mercia played a big role in shaping his views.

Mr McBurney said he chose to be an ambassador for the conference because it was important men took a leading role in tackling violence against women.

He said he wanted to lead by example.

"When I look at the figures (of rates of domestic violence) I get astounded," he said.

"It's important for men to stand up and say this is not what being a man is."

He said he wanted to promote a discussion within social groups; including in community clubs and close circles of friends.

“I am of the opinion that culture begins with conversation," he said. “We can choose social breakdown or social togetherness.”

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