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NRL Match Officials will wear special jerseys this weekend (Round 26) in support of Bravehearts and its mission to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.

The ongoing partnership between Bravehearts – Australia’s leading child protection advocacy group – and NRL Match Officials aims to encourage support for those harmed by child sexual assault, to actively protect children through education and awareness and to have the courage and integrity to stand up for children no matter how hard the call.

Statistics reveal that one in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted in some way by the time they reach 18 and NRL Match Officials are urging all Rugby League fans to support Bravehearts’ White Balloon Day campaign on Friday, September 6.

“This is such an important cause and we want all Rugby League fans to join with the game’s Match Officials and show their support for the important work that Bravehearts do in our community,” NRL Referees Elite Performance Manager, Daniel Anderson, said.

The Bravehearts jerseys have been made possible thanks to the support of NRL Match Officials sponsor AAMI, which has donated its branding space on the jerseys.

“It’s a great opportunity for AAMI to help shine a spotlight on one of Australia’s leading charities as we approach the climax of the NRL season,” Executive Manager, Sponsorship for AAMI Mr John Bennett said.

We hope the visibility of the Bravehearts logo on the referees’ jerseys will help raise awareness of the great work they do in protecting children in Australia.”

Bravehearts founder and Executive Director, Mrs Hetty Johnston, has thanked Rugby League for the game’s ongoing support and for their commitment to child protection advocacy.

“We are so thankful and so pleased to be again working with the NRL Referees and AAMI who have donated their sponsorship branding to help promote White Balloon Day,” Mrs Johnston said.

“We are very grateful to both these fantastic organisations who have provided a national platform for us to raise awareness for White Balloon Day on September 6 and deliver the important message of child safety to families across Australia.

“This nationwide initiative is growing each year and I encourage everyone to get on board and help Bravehearts raise $500,000 to help make our country the safest in the world to raise a child.

“The great thing about White Balloon Day is that everyone can do their bit to help as it is about educating, empowering and protecting our children and their futures.”

About Bravehearts & White Balloon Day:

•           Australians can get involved with fundraising events at home, in the workplace or in schools;
•           Bravehearts’ research shows that one in five children will be sexually assaulted in some way before their 18th birthday. Equally as alarming is the fact that in 85 per cent of cases, the offender is known to the child and is a relative or a trusted friend;
•           The money raised on Bravehearts White Balloon Day goes into supporting education, prevention and counselling programs for children across Australia.

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