Changemakers: Adam Everill, Jacqueline Joseph
Country of Implementation: Papua New Guinea
Equal Playing Field was started in 2013 under the name Rugby League Against Violence. The name was changed to Equal Playing Field in 2015 to better reflect the overall goal of the organisation, which is to prevent violence against women through promoting gender equality. EPF is a registered charity with the PNG Investment Promotion Authority.
It all started at the Global Changemakers Asia Youth Summit of 2011. An Australian, Adam Everill and a Papua New Guinean, Jacqui Joseph, spoke for the first time during the speed dating sessions, and the rest, is history. Adam is the organisation’s Australian CEO and Jacqui is the Country Program Manager for PNG. EPF has a Board of Directors made up of prominent PNG citizens who are responsible for the organisation’s governance.
PNG has some of the highest rates of violence against women anywhere in the world. Violence against women hurts people, destroys families and costs our economy millions of dollars every year. We believe that ending violence women is essential if PNG if to fulfill its potential. PNG is a sporting nation! EPF uses all kinds of sport to engage young people in our programs. We also use sporting concepts and terminology to help explain the importance of respectful relationships to young people. We believe that education is more effective when you speak to young people in a language they understand.
EPF’s largest program is our schools program, called EPF4S. It is an 8 week respectful relationships education program that operates in primary schools. We believe that the best way to prevent violence against women in the long run is to educate young people how to have healthy, safe and respectful relationships.
Evidence from around the world has shown that schools are an effective setting to deliver relationship education to young people. This is age when young people are beginning to develop their identity and explore relationships with each other. By encouraging safe and respectful relationships at a young age we believe that we can stop violence against women before it occurs.