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Media Release by The Hon Kate Ellis MP

New funding for the Australian Rugby League to reduce violence against women

The Australian Government will partner with the Australian Rugby League (ARL) to run a $250 000 campaign in local rugby league clubs to prevent violence against women and promote respectful relationships.

The funding is part of the Australian Government’s $86 million National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 which brings together the efforts of governments across the nation to make a real and sustained reduction in the levels of violence against women.

Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis today announced that the ARL would work with community clubs across the country to deliver a media campaign and develop educational resources to prevent violence against women.

“We know that reducing violence is something that the Government cannot do alone, which is why it is so important that we work with sporting and community organisations on the ground to promote respectful relationships and ensure that women can live lives free of violence,” Ms Ellis said.

“All forms of violence against women are unacceptable – in any community and in any culture – and it is everyone’s responsibility to reject and prevent violence.

“These grants will support activities that prevent, respond to, and speak out against violence, change community attitudes and behaviours, and encourage community responsibility to support the reduction of violence against women.”

The Australian Government has committed $3.75 million for Community Action Grants, which will be distributed amongst 17 community and sporting organisations across the country.

A range of funded projects will support different communities, with the ARL working with local clubs to deliver educational resources to players while aligning the clubs codes of conduct.

“We have provided $250 000 to the ARL to develop a multi-pronged approach to support a zero tolerance to violence against women,” Ms Ellis said.

“The ARL will develop an education and reporting campaign to promote key messages as well as deliver a grass roots campaign to local clubs around the country.”

The ARL has developed the project in conjunction with the National Rugby League

National Rugby League Chief Executive, David Gallop said the NRL is committed to taking a positive role in projects to help address these issues.

“Rugby League is a leader in Australian professional sport in implementing policies and education programs to address social issues,” Mr Gallop said.

“The Federal Government’s Community Action Grant will ensure we can continue to grow our programs and maintain our commitment to making a difference in the community, as we all want to be part of a society where violence against women is universally unacceptable.”

Ms Ellis commended the ARL for its commitment to addressing this serious issue in the community and said these grants will support them to lead and support social change.

“Changing community attitudes is a long-term challenge. By working together and challenging the attitudes and behaviours that allow violence to occur, all levels of government are saying a very loud “no” to violence,” Ms Ellis said.

A copy of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 is available from www.fahcsia.gov.au.