Speaking out for respect

THE Gippsland League will use its coming split round to help end men’s violence against women and children.

As part of the Orange Round, to be played over the next two weekends, the league’s 10 football-netball clubs will use the colour orange to promote the event and the importance of gender equality in sport.

Since its introduction in 2015, Orange Round has become an annual fixture across the region. This year’s round will focus on the Gippsland League.

The Gippsland League clubs are hosting information sessions for players and members run by project partners Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault, Gippsland Women’s Health, GippSport, Quantum Support Services, Netball Victoria and AFL Gippsland.

Violence against women and children remains a major issue in Australia. According to national not-for-profit organisation Our Watch, violence at the hands of a partner or former partner remains the greatest preventable risk factor for death or disability for women aged 15 to 44 years.

Family violence against women is also the single largest driver of homelessness for women, a common factor in child protection notifications, and results in a police call-out on average once every two minutes across the country.

Gippsland Women’s Health chief executive Fiona Owen said Orange Round was a good example of the prevention and response sectors working together.

“We continue to build awareness and understanding of family violence throughout Gippsland communities to increase safety, accountability and choices,” she said.

“Orange Round is a great opportunity to discuss this issue with sporting groups in a safe and supported way, working together for change.”

In Sale, ahead of the home game against Morwell on July 14, vice-president Justin Dessent said the round would complement the work Sale Football-Netball Club was doing to create a more inclusive club.

“It’s about promoting, and having the conversation — we’re all about supporting women, and ending violence against women and children,” he said.

“It’s a great platform to get messages out, and lead (young people) into acceptable behaviour — we have the talks in the changerooms, and making sure it’s all above board, so we can have a real influence in the way they grow up and develop as people.

“We’ve got some really great leaders, like Mitch (Dowse) here, within our club, they’re fantastic leaders and role models for all our kids, we pride ourselves in the way they go about what they do.”

This behind-the-scenes work, which also involved workshops on club values earlier in the year, is paying dividends, as Sale is one of the local clubs to introduce a girl’s football team.

“I’ve got a niece out here (playing interleague on Wednesday), to see her playing with the boys is something I’m very proud of, and as a club, we’ve got our girls football now — it’s all closing the gap with inequality,” Dessent added.

Wrist bands promoting the Orange Round message of “respect, dignity and equality” will be available at venues on game day, and members of the community are invited to use social media to display their support for the initiative.

LEONGATHA coach Paul Carbis has flagged “consistency in effort” as key to the Parrots’ chances against Gippsland League football leader Maffra on Saturday.

The second rematch of last year’s grand final will be the highlight as a split round begins.

After disposing of Morwell with ease at the weekend, Carbis admitted it was easy for in-form sides to become complacent against lower order opposition .

“We spoke about it before the game and the competition is so even that if you don’t start well, and let the opposition get on you, then they’re in it for the whole game,” he said.

“When you start getting in front it’s very easy for teams to start being selfish and play for themselves but we did the opposite and played some really selfless team footy.”

Luke Bowman “played his best game for the year” against Morwell, ruckman Dan Willis was again a stand-out and Cameron Stone “went to the next level” between the wing and half-forward on Saturday.

The victory was Leongatha’s 10th for season 2018 and keeps it a win behind Maffra.

Instead of getting caught up in analysing the opposition, Carbis said “we’ll keep trying to work on ourselves and our consistency”.

“With the way we’re playing, if we can do that then we’ll be competitive against Maffra,” he said.

A somewhat unsettled roster has had little affect on the Parrots’ performance each week, which bodes well for the side ahead of the weekend, according to Carbis.

“The last month we’ve had three or four changes every week, and that could easily affect a team but it hasn’t for us, which is a good sign,” he said.

“We’ll have three or four changes again this week … we’ll have a look and see who’s available but we’re hoping for another consistent performance against Maffra who are really the yardstick of the competition.”

The Eagles have bounced back from their first loss of the season to Sale with big wins over Drouin and Wonthaggi.

Against the Power last weekend, the Eagles had winners across the park, their defence only conceding six goals, a dominant midfield, and goals spread among 10 players.

When the Parrots hosted Maffra in round four, the Eagles won by 42 points. Mitch Bennett kicked six goals, with Alex Carr, Danny Butcher and Kieran Jones standing out.

The Eagles will be missing the ruck work of Jones, who will play for the Victoria Country under 19s team this Sunday.

MOE will be hellbent on returning to the winner’s list when it travels to take on Bairnsdale for the weekend’s only other match.

After upsetting Sale, the Lions slipped up last weekend, losing at home to Warragul by two goals.

Lucky for the Lions, they have a game’s breathing room in fourth spot on the ladder, ahead of Traralgon in fifth.

A win in round 13 will be key to Moe’s hopes of a finals berth as they prepare to face Leongatha, Traralgon and Maffra in the run home.

For Bairnsdale, a finals run seems unlikely. The Redlegs sit in seventh spot on the ladder with four wins — two behind Warragul and Traralgon, with matches to come against Maffra, Sale and Leongatha.

THE split round will conclude the following weekend, with Sale hosting Morwell, Wonthaggi heading to Traralgon, and Warragul meeting Drouin. — Kate Withers with David Braithwaite