RSV, FV and VU Celebrate Preventing Violence Through Sports Funding

Regional Sport Victoria (RSV) joins Football Victoria (FV) and Victoria University (VU) in welcoming the announcement by Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Vicki Ward and Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence of $1.2 million through the Preventing Violence Through Sports Grants program for the continuation of 12 community-based sporting projects across the state.

Football Victoria’s funded program, Change Makers, is in partnership with Victoria University and Regional Sport Victoria; overlaying programs with a prevention lens to change the attitudes and behaviours that drive violence, to build safer football communities. This strategic approach, through the vehicle of football, can stop potential violence and harmful behaviours in its tracks so the need for intervention can be reduced.

The Change Makers program is designed to support clubs to critically assess their club environments and implement new practices that tackle entrenched cultures of inequity. Delivered through an evidence-informed approach, it has been clear through that this collaborative and educative model towards change works. Collectively, we have gained important insights into the challenges and resistance in achieving gender equality to keep driving change.

Karen Pearce OAM, Executive Manager Equity, Growth and Inclusion at Football Victoria, voiced the importance of further funding to support the work achieved to date.

“We are indebted to the Victorian Government’s funding, so we can continue to persist in producing enabling environments through education and training delivered in partnership with Victorian University and Regional Sport Victoria, and not lose the momentum of gains already achieved.

“As an organisation, we have learnt that all our equity work must be overlaid with a primary prevention approach that establishes the expectation that gender equality must be considered and prioritised in all current and future planning, service delivery and practice.”

Fiona McLachlan, Associate Director, Research Training at Victoria University, celebrated the announcement.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Football Victoria to support their sector-leading gender equity work. We have made a very conscious decision to work with Football Victoria for their openness to adopt research-informed and whole-of-sport approaches to preventing gender-based violence.

“As we enter a critical maintenance phase, this funding will allow us to build on what we have learnt in the last two years and work towards embedding gender equity throughout the football community.”

Regional Sport Victoria Executive Officer, Meghan Mayman is thrilled to be able to continue the strong partnership with Football Victoria and Victoria University to support the Change Makers project.

“It is fitting in National Volunteer Week to have funding renewed for a program that supports club and association volunteers to improve gender equity within their operations.

“Within regional communities, sport is often the place where we come together. Supporting programs to improve social outcomes of our communities is so important to ensuring that everyone who wants to play, referee, coach, volunteer can do so in a way that makes them feel safe and included.”

Learn more about Change Makers HERE.