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Voice against Violence

NRL’s Alan Tongue, Clontarf Academy’s Mitch Sheffield, PCYC’s Gavin Campbell, Constable Therese Miller and Detective Inspector Paul Quigg at Bourke High School’s presentation of ‘Voice Against Violence’. Photo TWH

Former Canberra Raider captain Alan Tongue was in Bourke last week promoting “Voice against Violence” a campaign driven by the National Rugby League and NSW Police.

Born and raised in Tamworth, Alan understands the impact and influence sport can have in young lives, and especially in the lives of country kids.

Alan still remembers the time as a young kid at Tamworth Minor League when Laurie Daley and Dean Lance came to the club, the impact that had was monumental.

“I’ve always wanted to be part of community work. I grew up in a small community and I knew the importance that sport plays in a community.

“Fast forward to when I finished playing footy and I was part of several programs with the NRL – including in violence prevention and some work with juvenile justice.

“I began to get a bigger picture of the challenges we face in our communities around domestic violence.

“That ignited a passion within me.

“When I heard the stats that one in three women are victims of domestic violence, and I have three daughters, that hits home hard.

“I believe that sport plays a role in addressing these issues.

“The language of rugby league can be used to speak to communities on the issue of domestic violence and that’s the language I use in delivering the program,” Alan said.

Alan believes the campaign is changing thinking patterns and behaviors of young people.

The program, designed to reach the sixteen-to-eighteen-year age bracket, is the area Alan believes he can connect and talk about culture.

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