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The Rural Challenge Gender Equality Leadership Program works with influential rural institutions such as CFA brigades and football-netball clubs to embed principles of gender equality, and help prevent violence against women.

Members from clubs and brigades attend a gender equality workshop, and are supported to develop resources to meet the needs of their organisation including a member survey, gender equality checklist and Gender Equality Action Plan. Post-program support is also provided such as whole-of-club workshops.

The program has been running in the Bendigo and Macedon Ranges regions since 2016 with the support of the Victorian State Government.

The program is free of charge.



The program is supported by a partnership group of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, Macedon Ranges Shire Council, City of Greater Bendigo Council, CFA District 2, AFL Goldfields, AFL Central Victoria, Centre for Non-Violence and Sports Focus.

The Rural Challenge Gender Equality Leadership program was developed using the ‘Change The Story’ framework and is aligned with the Victorian Government’s gender equality and family violence prevention strategies, the Loddon Mallee Regional Action Plan for Primary Prevention and the findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

In 2018, the Rural Challenge Gender Equality Leadership Program was highly commended in the category of Community Safety in the National Local Government Awards.