Communities taking action

Find out how other communities around Australia are making a positive change and promoting respectful attitudes.

Knowing where to begin can be challenging, but small steps can make a big difference.

The power to end violence

Port Adelaide Football Club has created a program to educate high school students across South Australia about violence against women. The Power to End Violence against Women program focuses on respectful relationships and how young people can play a role in preventing violence.

Jake – Youth Programs Manager to group of young boys: Looking forward to working with you guys today, we’ve got some really important topics based around respect, a lot of the work that you guys are doing currently within the schools.

Jake: So we run a number of different community programmes through the football club. We’ve got quite a number of programmes run through our Aboriginal and youth streams, and this programme here is our Power to End Violence Against Women programme.

It’s one where we go out to secondary schools and we work with year 10 male students to educate them about the issue of violence against women but also respectful relationships.

Jake to group of young boys: Big challenge that we had, and obviously a discussion point is, if we see something that is disrespectful towards women, whether it’s directly or indirectly within the community, what are some of the tools that you guys have learned that would be able to address that? And it is a challenging thing to do, but what happens if we don’t do it?

Kye – Workshop participant: I think it’s just pretty basic, like, if you see something that’s not right, just stand up. I know it’s such a hard thing to do, especially if someone you respect and you like, but if you stand up, it just cuts it off.

Ross – General Manager: Power to End Violence Programme was an initiative between Centacare Catholic Family Services and the State government, and we were approached to deliver a programme based around respectful relationships.

So we co-designed it with Centacare Catholic Family Services, put a lot of time and energy into getting the right content in there, and we worked with the Education department on ethics and understanding the Keeping Safe Child Protection Curriculum, so we’re working within that curriculum so we can go into schools and compliment the delivery of that.

Jake: It can be a difficult subject to talk about, especially for young men, so it’s just about creating that rapport and building that relationship and making them comfortable to speak about the issue around violence against women, and what they can do to address the issue in the community.

Ross: Within the programme, I guess, I could really see the role that the football club and the players have in breaking through to these young people. Because when they’re hearing the same messages from their teachers, to have someone else from a trusted brand that they see on the sporting field speak about respectful relationships, they sit up and listen.
So, we’ve had a variety of different stories, from the students that have engaged within the programme and re-engaged with different engagements that we have, such as leadership days or family days – and how they’re interacting with the women in their lives differently and how they’re also encouraging their peers or family members to be treating women with a greater respect.

Jackson – Workshop participant: My brother, he’s not in high school yet, but I remember telling him about the program, about how, going to Adelaide Oval, and all that. And then when I got home I’d tell him about it and I told him what I learnt, and then I remember, two or three days later he comes back to me and he says that he’s been telling people at his school as well, his primary school.

So he’s even… Coming from what I’ve learned, if we do have younger siblings we could always help them spread it as well.

Jake: We’re in a position where we’re able to have a positive influence. So we heavily use our players, and our coaches, and our staff to go out into the schools and be positive role models for these students with hope that they can then model positive behaviours in the different areas of their lives.

Jackson: Being verbal abused to physical abuse as well, sexual abuse, yeah, you just got to put a stop to that as soon as you see it.

Jules – Workshop participant: Put yourself in their footsteps. You wouldn’t want to be treated like that.

Kye: Using your values to kind of guide you, with respect, honesty, just keep your values and you’ll be right.

Special thanks to Power Community Limited and Port Adelaide Football Club
If you want to know more about Power Community Limited, please visit

Violence against women, let’s stop it at the start.

Healing through the art of yarning

Leprena is a centre for the Indigenous community where members can weave new connections and share their stories. It’s a place for people to safely and openly have conversations and learn from one another about preventing domestic and family violence.

Grace – Workshop facilitator: I’d like to welcome everyone to the art group Healing through the art of yarning. The intention of this community engagement project is to give people new hope, to bring together and have a yarn while doing artwork. I hope through this group we can all weave new connections share stories, and learn from each other.

Alison – Centre Manager: Before I start having the conversation I really feel that I need to, and want to, honour and pay respects to the Muwinina people, as the traditional owners of the country Leprena sits on, and that we gather on, pay respect to my elders, past, present, and future.

Leprena is open to the Aboriginal community. We are a centre based around the love and beauty of Aboriginal culture, how Aboriginal culture has a way of healing and connecting both First and Second Peoples.

Two years ago we started our family violence prevention programme called Listening With Our Heart. Which in our language means listening with our hearts. Where a group of Aboriginal women, and other interested peoples, started the hard conversations around family violence and its impact on women and children and how could we safely have them in a cultural context.

The old adage is knowledge is power, and indeed that has been the case here. The biggest role we can play is to model behaviour in a more equal way and to also to start to engage our young people about the importance of, or expectations or misconceptions, about the roles of particular genders. Be more mindful of how we interact with those conversations and the message that we project as well.

Taylor – Workshop participant: It’s important for little girls to be taught the way that they should be treated and little boys how they should treat women. I have a son, as well as my young daughter, both of those things are very important to me.

I want for there to be conversations, I want to end this with our generations. I want for our children to grow up in safe places. For them to know that they are loved, that their communities got their back.

Annie – Workshop participant: I see them being influenced by the strong women in our family and I hope and pray that the violence and disrespect stops there, stopping there.

I’ve got five granddaughters and three grandsons and those five granddaughters are very strong, they will not be treated like that. And that’s because their mother and myself have enforced that nobody has the right to treat you like that and they’re brought up to stand up for themselves.

And this place has helped us and we all stand up, we all speak for each other.

Grace: The workshop come about of the team sitting down and really thinking about how we can get the community engaged. We don’t separate the kids and the adults, we’re all one group that learn and feed off of each other. The young people, the teenagers are influenced in the group by knowing that they can approach their elders for advice.

With the kids that I work with, the main message would be that boys won’t just be boys. And it’s not that, it’s a deeper issue than that and somethings aren’t okay and some things can’t be justified.

Alison: If we do not speak out we’re going to create another generation where women feel like this is what they should expect, this is all they deserve. So we need to get that message out there to change the next generation, keep the kani going, we must keep the talk going.

The change that I want to see is a real self-awareness within everybody. And we become a safe community and an example to the rest of the community.

Special thanks to Leprena UAICC Tasmania

If you want to know more about the United Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, please visit

Violence against women, let’s stop it at the start.

Young people empowering young people

YFS is a not-for-profit organisation that runs the R4Respect program. R4Respect engages young people to help tackle the problem of violence against women in the community. It empowers youth ambassadors to visit schools and educate young people about respectful relationships.

Beenush – YFS Coordinator: YFS is a community organisation in Logan. It’s been around for about 30 years and since then, we are here in the community, and what we really found is that there’s a lot of domestic violence and the best way to combat it, is by using young people to empower other young people to prevent violence.

YFS has been really instrumental in starting the R4Respect Programme, because it’s the first programme of it’s kind, that really uses young people to tackle a problem in the community.

The R4Respect was started by YFS about three years ago, and what they aimed to do, was, getting young youth ambassadors from the community and empower them to speak up against violence in their own communities, and so, all the youth ambassadors get together and we go out to schools, and we talk to other young people and educate them on messages about healthy relationships.

R4Respect uses about twelve youth ambassadors in the programme, who are all from Logan, and the point of that is, that they all can create change in their own communities, their university communities, and it’s been really successful, in that the young people are able to have a network of people creating change together.

So, community leaders have a really key role, and that of all is, believing in young people, and believing that young people can create change. So, by empowering the young people in our community, we’re all able to create change in our own space.

Rachel – YFS Youth Ambassador to students: I’m Rachel, this is Nadia, and this is Ryan. So, we’re all teammates, and we’re all really passionate about what we do.

Ryan – YFS Youth Ambassador: It’s really important to get in early and stop domestic violence from happening, rather than picking up the pieces afterwards.

Rachel: I guess really scary is, these stats, they’re reflective of real kids in Australia, but what we’re saying is, that’s not the end of it. You guys are, we can empower you guys to make a change. You guys literally have the power to change these stats up on the board.

Letting your partner, or your friend, or whoever it is, aware of your boundaries, ’cause everyone has a right to privacy and boundaries, whether you’re in a relationship or not, you deserve to feel safe, and you deserve to have your own personal space to do your own things.

Beenush Probably the most amazing thing for all of us to see, when we present workshops, is, to see the kids at the start of the workshop, and then at the end, with completely different attitudes about consent and respect.

Nadia – YFS Youth Ambassador: I personally love when I get to see the students interact amongst their peers in the line activity, in other activities that we do, and they’re sort of, amongst their own peer groups, talk about how they feel, what their decision is on the question.

But also, at the end of a session, you often have a lot of students that come up to you afterwards, and go, hey Miss, that was really great. Thank you so much.

Ryan: I’m really proud to be a part of this. I come to work, and I feel, like, I’ve actually made a difference to someone’s life, and I’m working towards the kind of change that we need to see in the world.

Special thanks to YFS

If you want to know more about YFS and the R4Respect program, please visit

Violence against women, let’s stop it at the start.

Empowered to create change

When she was just 14, Josie created a petition calling for the government to include information about domestic violence and the support available for young people in schools. Her petition attracted more than 100,000 signatures, and led to changes in the NSW school curriculum.

I’m Josephine. I’m 17. That’s a good rhyme.

Yeah, I’m studying to be a counsellor one day. I’m doing my Certificate II in Community Services.

I originally started with a petition and over a few months that got 100,000 supporters. And it was put in the newspaper so I was really glad that it was just getting out there. But I think it took about a whole year going through Parliament, to try and implement into the curriculum. It was just a few months after my mother passed away.

I did the petition purely for the reason that I was sitting in my own sadness dwelling on all this stuff and I was just thinking there’s other kids going through this. And I felt the need to tell people my story, so other people around me felt power to do something.

Around the time that the petition actually was created, I had a few people reach out to me and ask what to do. And that was pretty hard because at the time I’m kind of thinking “what do you do?”.

Well, I’m really glad that people felt like they could speak up and felt like they had a safe space to talk to someone. It’s a big issue with young people especially with them knowing boundaries and being told to keep it quiet. They need to know that they’re first of all not alone, and that there’s also people willing to help them.

It’s not impossible that people can change and learn respect, but I feel like if you taught it at a younger age, just like simple things like manners, it just sticks for you.

Teachers are a big influence on the way that a child wants to learn. Keep a kind of friendship with the students, ’cause it really helps to think that you have a support system within the school, especially when it’s somewhere that you are every single day.

The people that surround you definitely are a big factor in how you’ll feel. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by just so many lovely, kind people that because I spoke out, were aware of what was going on and they were just so kind and loving to me.

I don’t think that I’d be who I am today without the experience that I’ve gone through. It made me come out a stronger person and I just feel more empathy towards other people.

Be standing big for what you believe in, regardless if it’s on a big platform or a small one. If it’s in your small community then it still gets around. Just one family, that that’s their whole life that it changes and helps. It doesn’t matter the scale.

Special thanks to Josie Pohla

Violence against women, let’s stop it at the start.