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

Going back to school is not just daunting for little ones – older students can feel anxious too. Our parenting educators have put together some tips for parents of young people starting high school this year.


Many young people find starting secondary school a time of mixed emotions.

While they may feel excitement, fear, confusion and have a sense of curiosity and adventure, most will admit that starting a new school experience can be a bit scary.

They may feel lost and confused, miss their primary school friends and worry about fitting in.

Adjusting to these differences and their new learning environment can be challenging.

Secondary schools are much bigger, anonymous places than primary school where everyone knows your name. New school routines and unfamiliar classrooms and teachers add an extra dynamic.

Friendship circles change and even established bonds can be challenged in high school, as students tackle one of the primary developmental tasks of establishing identity.

Signs your child is not coping may include:

  • Irritability
  • A short-temper
  • Being disagreeable or rebellious
  • Withdrawing from family
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Articulating stress through tummy pains and headaches

While children may exhibit some of these behaviours regardless of the onset of a new school year, if these signs persist after the first few weeks of term, it’s time to speak to the school to help address the source of stress.

It is equally important that parents look after their own well being too. Remember, this can be a stressful and confusing time for you also, as you juggle work, family and other commitments, and try and figure out how much support to offer your child.

Here are some favourite pieces of parental advice drawn from our parenting groups over the years:

  • Remember that despite their emerging sophistication, students still need to hear you say you love, approve of and support them
  • Provide reassurance by normalising some of the confused and unsure feelings and perhaps share your own high school experience
  • Celebrate their strengths: they need to be reminded of what they do well while they tackle challenges
  • Be a supportive listener and don’t give advice too quickly: help them problem-solve and encourage thinking for themselves
  • Be patient while your student tackles the challenges of first year high school and remember that being organised is usually a learned skill
  • Get to know the school community – other parents can be your best resource.


This year we welcome Port Adelaide Football Club defender Jasper Pittard to the Power to End Violence Against Women campaign.

Jasper joins Travis Boak, Ollie Wines, Hamish Hartlett, Matt White and Gavin Wanganeen as a Program Ambassador.

PTEVAW - Jasper & Russell

In his role, Jasper will visit schools with club legend Russell Ebert to talk to male students in Year 10 about respectful relationships with women.

We are grateful for the invaluable support of players as we continue our partnership with Power Community Ltd.

This term the #PEVAW program has engaged 305 students across four schools, including Norwood Morialta High School.

Students learn about respect, trust, gender equality, healthy relationships and the dangers of abusive behaviour, and how to make informed choices.

Launched in late 2015 with the help of the State Government, the program will be funded by Centacare until 2019 in order to reach more male students across the state.

For more information about the PEVAW program, please phone Ross Wait 8447 9965.

There is a lot for children to absorb at the start of a school year.

From changing friendship groups to new teachers and classrooms, many of your child’s experiences will be different to last year.

Some children will adapt quickly to change but others may lack confidence and optimism.

New teacher styles

New teacher styles can be a sticking point for some children. Just as we all learn in different ways, each teacher will take a different approach in the classroom.

Some children will not notice this difference but, for many, it can be overwhelming and a cause of anxiety. This may be apparent instantly or over time.

If change is bothering your child, what can you do?

  • Listen to your child! Try not to disregard the little things which can be big issues for them. Encourage them to express their worries and how they think you can help.
  • Ask them about the good things at school, such as the best part of their day or a fun fact they learned. This will help them focus on the positives.
  • Children do best at school when parents and teachers work together. Open and effective communication is critical. Work with your child’s teacher and let them know about any problems or concerns your child has.
  • Encourage your child to talk to their teacher. This will help build trust and your child’s sense of security in the classroom.
  • Always reassure young people they are not alone and that problems can be worked out.

Friendship groups

Group dynamics often change at school and during the holidays. Friends may play together at recess and lunch but move in different social circles outside of school.

As a parent, watching your child grapple with friendships is very difficult – and hard to fix!

It is confusing and often painful for children if they are omitted from weekend playdates or groups at school one moment and then included the next.

Be understanding and try and give them some advice without saying too much. This is a normal developmental stage so reassure them it is ok to be sad and that it will get better with time as friendships evolve.

A changing group dynamic is different to bullying, which is repeated verbal, emotional or physical abuse intended to hurt, frighten or threaten another.

Tips for kids on forming friendships:

  • Always try and be pleasant and well mannered, even to people you may not hang out with.
  • Talk to others and be interested in what they do! You might find you share interests and hobbies, play the same sports and like similar music.
  • Listen to what others say and join in the conversation.
  • Be helpful and friendly – doing things for others and lending a helping hand goes a long way!
  • Be mindful of others’ feelings. Don’t talk about them behind their back. Every person is different!
  • Avoid arguments with people if they don’t agree with you on certain things. Try and understand their point of view and be honest about your own feelings.
  • Be a good listener and encourage them to make positive choices.
  • Understand that close friendships take time to develop and, while it’s good to have a best friend, you can have lots of other friends too.
  • Have fun together!

For more information, visit:


*If you need extra support, Centacare provides counselling to parents, families and children, and primary and secondary school students. Other support is provided through the National School Chaplaincy Program. For more information, please phone 8215 6700.



Meeting the Challenge

Centacare Catholic Family Services is a Catholic welfare organisation delivering a range of services across the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide.

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E enquiries@centacare.org.au

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