Former Canberra Raiders legend and 2016 ACT Australian of the Year, Alan Tongue will headline the first in a series of stories launched today, highlighting the NRL’s Community programs and the support that Rugby League at all levels provides to communities throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
The 'Power For Change' campaign builds on the narrative of existing community programs and initiatives undertaken year-round by all levels of the Game and supported more broadly throughout communities.
Tongue's story focusses on the NRL’s ‘Voice Against Violence’ program – an education initiative aimed at young adults and males in particular – to stand up, speak out and take action against domestic violence.
"I've been involved in Rugby League my whole life and when I stopped playing professionally, I knew I wanted to remain involved in the game and ensure that there was support and guidance provided to the next generation of players, no matter what level or skill," Mr Tongue said.
"Men's violence against women is a big problem and as a father of three young daughters, it’s very personal.
"The Voice Against Violence program is in a small way, helping to educate youth connected within rugby league that domestic violence of any kind is never ok.
"Rugby League has a powerful voice throughout communities and wherever our game can support a broader message for positive change, we will."
NRL Head of Government and Community Relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder said the NRL, clubs and community partners would continue to extend their reach to promote social change amongst communities in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
"Our community programs are focussed around three pillars – Respect, Learn and Health - and together with our former and current NRL players and ambassadors, we reach hundreds of thousands of people across many communities every year," Mr Boland-Rudder said.
"Our Community programs and our Power For Change campaign is at the heart of our game and an opportunity to share our stories and show another side of our game that supports and nurtures fans of all ages."
The Australian Kangaroos and Harvey Norman Jillaroos ANZAC Double Header Test Match teams will show their support for the Voice Against Violence message and commitment from the game to help eradicate domestic violence by wearing a White Ribbon insignia on their jerseys.
The ‘Power For Change’ campaign will run throughout 2017 and beyond, with additional stories highlighting women in league, multicultural communities, mental wellbeing advocacy and education.
In addition to the campaign, the NRL has completed its second Social Impact Report, measuring the positive impact within communities via NRL Community programs.
Details of the report and results, including the impact of the Voice Against Violence program within communities in 2016, can be found online at nrl.com - under the ‘About’ section.
To view the Voice Against Violence program, as told by Alan Tongue, click on the following:
For further information on the NRL’s Community Programs, visit nrl.com/forchange