Magpies captain Cam Sutcliffe is going back to school this week 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 classrooms on Thursday to teach Year 10 boys about respectful relationships.
Blackfriars Priory School at Prospect is Sutcliffe’s first stop, with PTEVAW set to visit 13 schools this year.
Six schools will take part in the primary prevention program for the first time.
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.
The program is delivered over two weeks, with two by two-hour sessions. Students learn how to recognise and safely stand up to gendered drivers of abuse, and what constitutes a healthy relationship.
In August last 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.
Sutcliffe will juggle his role as PTEVAW Program Coordinator with his onfield responsibilities leading Port Adelaide Football Club in the SANFL this season.
“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,” he said.
Deputy Director Pauline Connelly is passionate about the program, begun in response to the shocking prevalence of violence against women.
“We are not just introducing students to role models and footballers, we are introducing them to a way of life in establishing and growing safe relationships with one another,” she said.