Media Releases

White Ribbon’s relationship with the NRL

White Ribbon Australia has had an informal association with the NRL since 2012. In March of this year, White Ribbon and the NRL signed a Partnership Agreement. This establishes White Ribbon as an integral part of the Game’s ‘Voice against Violence’ campaign. It also encourages NRL clubs to become White Ribbon Accredited Workplaces and commit to driving the prevention of violence against women in communities. Many NRL players are committed White Ribbon Ambassadors.

The NRL itself is an accredited White Ribbon Workplace. White Ribbon has full confidence in the NRL to lead by example in establishing a culture of non-violence across all of its clubs and this has been demonstrated by Dave Smith’s words over the weekend.

The nature of our work with the NRL is advisory. Violence against women is a serious issue both in sport and in the community at large. There is a lot of work still to be done to stop violence before it occurs, by challenging the deeply ingrained attitudes, social norms and power inequalities that give rise to men’s violence against women.

White Ribbon will not comment on the specifics of any ongoing legal case, however we stand strong in our view that violence is never acceptable.  Education is key and this is the reason that we work with partners like the NRL to get the message of non-violence out across Australia.

The fact remains that in Australia, one in three women experience physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them. Domestic violence occurs across all communities, cultures and socio-economies.  It is imperative that employers across all sectors and industries are aware of this issue and acknowledge that it has the potential to affect their staff. The NRL and its affiliated clubs are no different.

We are committed to working with the NRL, through the Agreement to ensure that the Game, its staff, its players and its supporters understand that all forms of abuse, violence and coercive control will not be tolerated and that individuals will be held accountable for their actions.

Disclosure is often a traumatic experience for victims of violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, please call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732. This service is available 24/7, provides free and confidential counselling, and can refer you or someone you know onto local support and legal services if needed.

In an emergency, call the police on 000. All incidents of violence should be reported to the police.

Note to media

  1. Accreditation as a White Ribbon Workplace confirms an organisation’s commitment to developing a workplace culture that does not tolerate violent behaviour and abuse. Professional sporting codes are no different to any other workplace.
  2. Accreditation lasts for 3 years, at which point an organisation will go through the process once again, to retain its accreditation.
  3.  The NRL became a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace in December 2013.


For media interviews contact Sally Burleigh: and 0419 516 889

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

Subscribe to our newsletter