When he is not captaining Port Adelaide Football Club in the SANFL next season, Cameron Sutcliffe will be in the classroom leading a push to shape the attitudes and values of young men.
The 28-year-old will spearhead the Power to End Violence Against Women (PTEVAW) program when it resumes in Term 1 to teach Year 10 boys about respectful relationships.
Sutcliffe will juggle the role with his responsibilities as the Magpies’ leadership player for 2021.
A joint partnership between Power Community Ltd (PCL), Centacare and the Department for Education, PTEVAW has engaged nearly 7000 15-year-old boys in schools across the state since it began in 2016.
Through the primary prevention program, students learn how to recognise and safely stand up to gendered drivers of abuse.
It’s a cause close to Sutcliffe who has seen the impact of domestic and family violence on a few good mates.
“Thankfully they were able to get through it with the supports around them, so programs like this are certainly very important,’’ he said.
Sutcliffe has worked with PTEVAW before, having joined PCL General Manager Jake Battifuoco on a previous school visit.
“It was an eye-opening experience, just to see the young guys take in the message,’’ Sutcliffe said.
“To be able to drive the development of young people, not only on the playing list but also in schools, has become a passion for me and I am grateful that the club has given me the opportunity to do both.’’
In August this year, PTEVAW celebrated its 100th school visit. At the same time, Centacare and PCL launched the EMPOWERED program, which works with girls to foster critical thinking about gender equity and women’s rights.
“Given how important continuity and capacity building over the long-term is for primary prevention, we have high hopes for these programs going forward,’’ said Pauline Connelly, Deputy Director of Centacare.
“Using sport as a hook to start conversations with men and boys around respectful relationships can be a powerful catalyst for change.
“Domestic violence is a choice. The more young people understand the values and attitudes that drive abusive behaviours, the better chance we have of stopping domestic violence before it starts.’’
Picture: Dean Martin