Crime Prevention Minister Andrew McIntosh today launched a new anti-violence campaign calling on young Victorians to look out for their mates while having a night out.
The Coalition Government's new Wingman campaign will be driven by strong partnerships with the AFL Coaches Association and Netball Victoria, who will provide grassroots support for the anti-violence campaign.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson, CEO of the AFL Coaches Association (AFLCA) Danny Frawley and other sporting representatives were on hand to help the Minister launch the campaign at Kevin Bartlett Reserve.
"The Coalition Government is encouraging young Victorians to look out for one another, and the Wingman campaign gets the message across in a way that is both relevant and fun," Mr McIntosh said.
"Just like you would on the football field or netball court, look out for your mates and make sure they don't get into trouble. A good Wingman looks out for their friends."
Danny Frawley said the Wingman campaign would make a difference to the lives of young adults, and help to promote a safer Victoria.
"We are proud to be a part of this great partnership, which will see clubs across Victoria actively promoting the Wingman message at the grass roots level," Mr Frawley said.
"Off or on the field, we all have a responsibility to keep our mates safe and out of trouble."
Mr McIntosh said local sporting clubs would promote the campaign and spread the Wingman message.
As part of the campaign, all Victorians are encouraged to take the Wingman pledge at www.facebook.com/champmoves. Prizes include two tickets to this year's AFL Grand Final, and a training session with a senior AFL coach.
Alastair Clarkson encouraged everyone to log on to Facebook and take the Wingman pledge.
"Camaraderie and teamwork are just as important off the field as they are on it, and by taking the pledge you are making a commitment to uphold these values," Mr Clarkson said.
"Take the pledge, look out for your friends and help everyone have a good night."
Mr McIntosh said 16 Australian Rules leagues across Melbourne and regional Victoria, the Victorian Women's Football League, and 50 netball clubs from across the state would participate in the Off-Field Champion Award.
"Each club will be encouraged to nominate their most responsible player to be their official Off-Field Champion," Mr McIntosh said.
State winners across the two codes will be announced at the end of the season.