The Telstra Premiership-winning Roosters’ captain Anthony Minichiello and NRL Ambassadors Mario Fenech, Nathan Hindmarsh and Hazem El Masri were among the rugby league identities at this morning’s annual Sydney White Ribbon Walk to support the national campaign to end violence against women.
The walk that began at 7.15am, started at High Cross Park in Randwick heading towards a finishing point at Coogee Surf Life Saving Club in Sydney’s east. This is one of many activities nationwide to mark White Ribbon Day and promote the importance of taking the pledge to support White Ribbon Australia’s ‘Hey mate, let the world know where you stand’ campaign.
Mr Fenech, who addressed a school assembly at Oatley later in the morning following the White Ribbon Walk, said the prevention of violence against women is an issue that must be addressed everywhere in society. He quoted from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006.
‘The stats are alarming’, he said. ‘Since the age of 15, one third of women have experienced inappropriate comments about their body or sex life; one quarter have experienced unwanted sexual touching, and one in five have been stalked.
‘It is important for every man to take a stand to put an end to these sort of statistics. Women in our community deserve our respect and they deserve to feel safe.’
The NRL launched its support of White Ribbon Day earlier this month with an extensive internal campaign to raise awareness, culminating in a fund-raising barbecue at Allianz Stadium precinct on Monday morning and the release of video messages from the Kangaroos and staff.
The NRL and the Kangaroos have been a supporting charity partner of White Ribbon Australia since 2008, with the NRL involved in the ground-breaking prevention initiative, the White Ribbon Australia Accreditation Program Pilot. For more information got to White Ribbon Australia.