Key messages:

  • The Rural Challenge Gender Equality Leadership Program empowers leaders in CFA brigades and sporting clubs to promote gender equality and be more family friendly in their organisations.
  • While many clubs and brigades already have in place practices that support welcoming and inclusive environments, the program assists them to build on these strengths to change attitudes and behaviours.
  • Gender equality is good for volunteer organisations as it can lead to more volunteers, more members, an improved culture of respect and support and increased sustainability. Participants who completed the Rural Challenge Gender Equality Leadership Program in 2017 overwhelmingly reported that they found it ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’ for them personally or as a community leader.
  • CFA brigades and sports clubs are both hugely influential and are places where strong leaders can drive change and work together for gender equality.  Gender equality is the method for preventing violence against women. Violence against women is caused by gender inequality.
  • The Rural Challenge Gender Equality Leadership Program is supported by a regional partnership comprised of Macedon Ranges Shire Council, the City of Greater Bendigo, AFL Central Victoria, AFL Goldfields, CFA District 2, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, Centre for Non Violence and Sports Focus.