Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Mildura kicking goals for DV prevention

Mildura Rural City Council has partnered with the Victorian Government to offer a community-driven program to encourage gender diversity and end domestic violence.

Council has secured up to $200,000 to deliver its ‘Kicking Goals for Gender Equality’ program, which is set to get underway in the coming months.

Council has employed a part-time Sport and Recreation Gender Equity Officer who will support clubs to give women and girls opportunities to participate more equitably on and off the field. This will include practical steps such as education and action planning for clubs to champion gender equality for their members and volunteers.

“This program aims to stop violence against women before it starts by building a culture of equality, respect and safety,” Council said in a statement.

A diverse local leadership group of sporting and service organisations is set to guide the project.

Community Development and Gender Equality Councillor, Helen Healy said the initiative could prove to be a ‘game changer’ for gender equity and ultimately, help to create a community where violence against women is eliminated.

“Sporting clubs have a big influence on our community values, attitudes and behaviour and can help us address the prevalence of domestic and family violence in our region,” Cr Healy said.

“This makes them a great place to start conversations about gender equity, respectful relationships and preventing gendered violence.”

Sunraysia Football Netball League (SFNL) President, Paul Matheson said a surge in female participation meant many local clubs were introducing diverse, inclusive and respectful practices and policies and he welcomed support to expand these efforts.

“Historically, football, cricket and soccer clubs were designed for male players and run by predominantly male administrators and coaches, but there are enormous benefits of being inclusive of all genders and their families,” Mr Matheson said.

“The SFNL is eager to partner in this project because we know clubs want to do more but don’t always know where to start.

“It’s extremely important that they receive the help and guidance to ensure their effort makes a difference. We recognise our volunteers are time poor and changing gendered perceptions is a long-term challenge.  

“We can all learn, and it’s empowering that clubs and communities are committed to change,” Mr Matheson said.

Council is aiming to deliver the ‘Kicking Goals for Gender Equality’ program to all local football-netball clubs and most cricket and soccer clubs over the next two years. Clubs will be invited to submit an expression of interest in early-August to take part in the first round commencing in September.

Latest Articles