Master's Message - More from the Master - Making Good Men Better. Sept 2018

From WBro Stuart, WM Lodge Devotion 2018-2019

The above tag line is well known to all Freemasons, not only within our state but across the globe.

It is the evening before a weekend of Grand Final football of differing codes here in Victoria.

Melissa Cunningham & Chloe Booker writing in The Age report that the local police commissioner states “the night of the grand final is the worst of the year for family violence across the state” with the police expecting a spike of up to 20% in incidents.

Similar Data released from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research in June, spanning six years from 2012 to 2017, indicated a 40.7 per cent average increase in domestic violence, and 71.8 per cent in non-domestic assaults across NSW on State of Origin game days.

Furthermore earlier this year, the UK's National Centre for Domestic Violence reported the number of family violence victims referred by police surged by 20 per cent as England’s soccer team enjoyed their best World Cup run in 28 years before losing to Croatia.

Recently I attended a leadership evening held by FMV, during this evening we, as an organisation and as individuals were challenged to find our voice when it comes to domestic violence and particularly violence against women. It is often quoted that 1 in 4 women have experienced some kind of violence from an intimate partner, these figures can be debated but it cannot be denied that any society where men perpetrate violence against women is an issue not to be ignored. All violence, both public and domestic against women, children and men is unacceptable.

Extrapolating this out it cannot be denied that within our lodges there are statistically men who have been the aggressors in such circumstances, if you think this isn’t the case they you are burying your head in the sand. These are men we call Brother, these are men who are trying to knock of those superfluous knobs, but are these men who we call out when we know of their deeds? Are these men who's failings we point out and offer guidance too, or are these conversations too difficult for us to have or admit that these is a problem?

There is a challenge to meet, we are the prominent mens’ organisation in Victoria but where is our voice on domestic violence and violence against women? We have the opportunity to stick our head above the parapet and start making a difference to our community and our Lodges by talking about these difficult issues.

This is the real opportunity to make good men better.