NRL CEO Todd Greenberg is in Darwin as part of a two-day trip to the region to meet with local Rugby League clubs, Government members and key stakeholders to discuss the continued growth of the game throughout the Northern Territory.
As part of the trip, Mr Greenberg participated in a 'Voice Against Violence' session with Rugby League players from the Northern Territory Institute of Sport.
The NRL's Voice Against Violence program is one of the code’s education programs aimed at standing up, speaking out and taking action against domestic violence.
Prior to the NRL's Representative Round earlier this year (6–8 May), the NRL announced further commitments, education and funding to strengthen the game’s existing domestic violence programs and ensure that Rugby League would play a greater role in helping to eradicate domestic violence.
Mr Greenberg said the Voice Against Violence program was critical in helping to educate young footballers in particular about making the right choices in life.
"The statistics are shocking – nationally, one in three women suffer from a form of physical or sexual violence and police respond to a domestic violence incident every two minutes," Mr Greenberg said.
"We owe it to our players, our families and our nation to help play a part in doing whatever we can to ensure those in our game know that domestic violence of any kind is never okay."
Voice Against Violence program leader and former Canberra Raiders star Alan Tongue said the program would reach 60 junior Rugby League clubs over the next three years.
"Rugby League is fortunate to have a big voice within our communities with many enjoying our game at all levels, whether it is playing, coaching or volunteering," Mr Tongue said.
"With our voice comes a big responsibility to act in the correct manner and treat others with respect.
"The Voice Against Violence program is one part of a bigger effort to ensure that those in our game not only do the right thing, but support others in doing the right thing and help those who may be suffering."
Earlier this year, the NRL received funding from 'Our Watch' (an independent, not for profit organisation aimed at eradicating domestic violence) to continue to reach existing and new communities and educate communities that violence of any kind is not ok.
Along with Our Watch, the Voice Against Violence program and the NRL's stance against domestic violence is also supported by key partners in White Ribbon and Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia.
- One in three women in Australia have experienced physical violence. This is unacceptable.
- The NRL, together with players, Clubs, States, Pacific neighbours and communities, wants to continue to be a catalyst for change and contribute directly to the long-term prevention of domestic violence.
- The game is strengthening its ongoing work and resolve to stand up, speak out and take action against domestic violence – having formed a coalition alongside domestic violence experts, to change the behaviours, attitudes and actions of those in our communities that think domestic violence is ok.
- The NRL has received funding from 'Our Watch' (an independent, not for profit organisation aimed at eradicating domestic violence) to continue to reach existing and new communities and educate young males in particular, that violence of any kind is not ok.
- The NRL's Voice Against Violence program includes a Grassroots education resource aimed at 16-18 year olds, a new commercial featuring Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga and Kangaroos player Matt Scott and a website, with tools and resources to support communities.