Australian icons and renowned couple, Ali and Cameron Daddo, have joined the movement against domestic violence having just signed on as Queensland-based charity, RizeUp Australia's first 'Patron Pair'.
With intimate partner violence remaining one of the leading contributors to premature death for women aged 18-44, RizeUp has engaged the couple to help them drive awareness of their mission to aid the many vulnerable families impacted by family and domestic violence across the nation.
CEO and Founder of RizeUp Australia, Nicolle Edwards, says there is a need for more open dialogue surrounding domestic violence, and understanding that it's a community issue.
"RizeUp is an Australian born initiative, made up of both men and women who have joined the movement to take a stand and end domestic violence across our nation," said Mrs Edwards.
"We're truly grateful to have Ali and Cameron join our team as RizeUp's newest patrons, who not only uphold, understand and share our values but also successively educate future generations on the importance of a loving, safe and respectful relationship between man and woman.
"Our one, over-arching goal is to eradicate domestic and family violence through practical support and education, and we believe that everyone in the community can contribute and support others in vital need."
Established in 2015, RizeUp seeks to drive awareness of domestic violence within society, while working with front-line agencies, refuge and specialist domestic violence services to deliver life-changing and practical support. The provision of safe, welcoming and practical homes gives the families affected the hope, empowerment and ability to move on to a life free from violence.
Following a loving marriage of 27 years, the well-known pair are welcoming the opportunity to 'rize up' against the issue that's often treated as taboo, by aiding in the deliverance of these practical services.
Ali hopes shining a light on a part of our society that's often overlooked and ignored will encourage others to rally in support.
"Cameron and I are honoured to have been appointed RizeUp's first 'Patron Pair'. Cameron's involvement in Filthy Rich & Homeless really highlighted the reality that many women and families go through after fleeing violent homes and have no other option than to end up on the street. I can't imagine that these women and their children sleeping on a sidewalk or park bench can ever truly feel safe, and I would hate to think we could have done more to stop them from going back to the perpetrator," said Ali.
"Domestic and family violence is a truly sad community issue, and the unique work and support RizeUp provides to some of the most vulnerable people in society is incredible. We want to help raise awareness and get involved to encourage others to volunteer, donate or help in any way they can.
"We cannot begin to understand what these women, children and families have been through, but we're willing to help to give them a voice, and we sincerely commend these survivors for making the courageous decision to seek support."
Ali and Cameron Daddo will be joining current RizeUp Patrons Shelley Craft, Mia Freedman, Wally Lewis and Petero Civoniceva.
For more information about RizeUp and their services, please visit https://www.facebook.com/RizeUpAustralia/.
Question: Why was it important for you and Cameron to become the first 'Patron Pair' for RizeUp?
Ali Daddo: When Nicolle asked if we would consider being a Patron Pair, we were thrilled. We both know the importance of a steady, stable home life for our children, and a respectable loving relationship between us. We've worked hard in our marriage of nearly 28 years to love each other through thick and thin, and felt we could stand for everything that is important to RizeUp. We were honoured to take the role.
Question: What does this new position mean to your family?
Ali Daddo: I've been an activist and worked with charities for many years now, mostly all in America when we lived there. Demonstrating kindness, giving, and a how to be a voice for people in need is something I hope we are instilling in our children. One of my favourite quotes is, "Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you". (J. Jackson Brown, Jr). My eldest daughter is already wanting to volunteer for RizeUp.
Question: How do you hope to rally against domestic violence with RizeUp?
Ali Daddo: I will rally however RizeUp needs me! If that means bringing awareness, or making the beds in the families new home or talking to corporations about sponsorship, I'll be there. Speaking out when issues regarding boys will be boys mentality or objectification of females come up is crucial to changing the outcome of domestic abuse.
Question: What types of community aid have you and Cameron been working on?
Ali Daddo: In the past I have worked with Gulu Walk, a charity raising funds for the rehabilitation of child soldiers in Uganda. I also co-partnered a free school program that worked with at risk youth regarding bullying and different way to communicate. Cam recently filmed a documentary called "Filthy Rich and Homeless", he has continued working with Wayside Chapel since then. Cam also has created an online platform https://mensteam.com.au which assist men to speak about their feelings in a safe support group with other men. Men bottling up their feelings as they so often have been taught to do can lead to some very volatile home life.
Question: What message do you want to spread with this ambassador role?
Ali Daddo: That domestic violence is an epidemic. There needs to be more attention, more work, and more assistance given to those impacted. We all know that commonly those who are the perpetrators are the ones who have come from an abusive home. Stopping the vicious circle is imperative. This is where RizeUp is amazing in giving those women with kids a safe haven to live and grow, and have a chance at a happy life. Being a part of changing someone's future for the better is a gift you give to not only them, but to yourself as well.
Question: How can Australians support your mission and RizeUp?
Ali Daddo: It's really in the giving. Whether it be with your time as a volunteer or through the company you work for, maybe you know someone in the corporate world that you could ask to help out. Have your own fundraiser. Ask the bookstore owner if he'd consider donating some kids books. There are so many avenues that will make a difference to the families fleeing a horrendous situation. Start by visiting RizeUp's Facebook page – get in touch to learn more about how you can help: https://www.facebook.com/RizeUpAustralia/.
Interview by Brooke Hunter