The Alannah & Madeline Foundation and long-term partner Richmond Football Club have joined forces with AGL to raise awareness about the number of Australian children living with domestic violence.
On the night of Saturday 14 May, all lights at the MCG will be switched off just before the bounce at the Richmond vs Sydney Swans game to promote the Foundation’s work to help children dealing with often traumatic circumstances.
Once the ground has been cast into darkness, the crowd will be asked to turn on their mobile phone lights, in a bid to shine light on the fear and anxiety that more than one million children are faced with.
Richmond players will be wearing a special guernsey featuring the purple Alannah and Madeline logo while fans will be encouraged to donate to the Foundation, which has helped almost 1.6 million children through its care, prevention and advocacy programs.
As part of the partnership, energy company AGL has joined the campaign and will be matching all donations made up to $10,000 to the Foundation by fans during the game.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Port Arthur tragedy, which claimed the lives of young Alannah and Madeline Mikac, their mother Nanette and 32 others. Their father and husband Walter Mikac launched the Foundation in April 1997.
Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said thanks to wonderful partners, such as Richmond FC and now AGL, the Foundation was able to raise awareness about this important issue while raising crucial funds for its care programs, such as Children Ahead and the Cubby House.
Ms Podesta said the game would provide the perfect arena for the issue of childhood violence to be explained before a large audience.
“Much of the population is unaware of the long-lasting impact that domestic violence can have on children. Events like this really help us raise awareness and money, which can be used to help vulnerable children,” Ms Podesta said.
“It will be wonderful to see the football community showing its support on the night.”
Richmond Football Club CEO Brendon Gale said the club is committed to supporting the Foundation in its vision to keep children safe from violence.
“More than one million children are affected by family violence in Australia and sadly, that number has risen by six per cent over the past 12 months,” Mr Gale said. “These figures are alarming, and we’ll do what we can to support the Foundation and raise awareness and educate the community that violence towards children needs to stop.”
AGL CEO & Managing Director Andy Vesey said the energy provider recognises that everyone needs to work together to tackle the challenge of family violence – as businesses, sports clubs and individuals.
“That's why we're proud to be partnering with Richmond Football Club and the Alannah & Madeline Foundation to raise money to help keep children safe from violence,’’ Mr Vesey said. ““AGL will be matching donations of up to $10,000 on the night of the game and we’ll also donate 5 per cent of every bill for Richmond fans on an AGL Richmond energy plan.”
Richmond Football Club also sponsors 35 schools through the Foundation’s Better Buddies program, helping to teach more than 8,500 children the important values of caring for others and reducing bullying.
Since 2012, Richmond has raised more than $200,000 for the Foundation as part of the partnership.
Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 03 9697 0683, 0416 045 701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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