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Sports stars urge fans to challenge sexism by being #MoreThanASpectator

November 24 2017 By Saraya Musovic, Senior Media & Communications Advisor

Our Watch, together with four of the country’s major sporting codes, are urging Australians to be ‘more than a spectator’ when they witness sexist behavior, in a bold new digital campaign.

More than a spectator campaign image Image

#MoreThanASpectator features an all-star cast with Australian Football League’s (AFL), Jarryn Geary, Rugby Australia’s, Chloe Dalton, National Rugby League’s (NRL), Sione Mata'utia and Netball Australia’s, Caitlin Thwaites. 

Released to coincide with the beginning of the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the sports stars are calling on bystanders to challenge sexist attitudes and behaviours, wherever, and whenever they see them. 

Our Watch CEO, Mary Barry said #MoreThanASpectator is intended to encourage people to do their part to stop the harmful attitudes and behaviours that drive violence against women.

“We all have the power to prevent violence against women and it starts with calling out sexism, harassment and disrespect towards women”, said Ms Barry.

#MoreThanASpectator is about empowering Australians to speak out against these attitudes and behaviours, because when we do, we can start to change the social norms that drive violence against women”.

AFL St Kilda captain, Jarryn Geary, believes that it doesn’t take much to take a stand against sexism.

“It's not complicated, it's about being respectful, and calling out unacceptable behaviour when you see or hear it”, said Mr Geary.

According to Australian Diamonds netball player, Caitlin Thwaites, collective action has the power to inspire others to follow suit.

“We’re all in this together. When you call out derogatory behaviours and attitudes people around you will speak up, too", said Ms Thwaites.

NRL Newcastle Knights Captain, Sione Mata’utia, said that calling out sexism, discrimination and violence could be the difference between life and death. 

"Women in Australia are being hurt and killed because they're women. That's got to be reason enough to speak up", said Mr Mata’utia. 

Rugby Australia Sevens and 2016 Olympic gold medallist, Chloe Dalton said she felt energised by the growing impetus of the public to challenge actions and beliefs that demean women.

“The momentum is growing. You can feel everyone saying, 'No more' - to violence against women, and to the attitudes and behaviours driving it", said Ms Dalton.

Watch the #MoreThanASpectator advertisement here:

For more information, visit: https://www.ourwatch.org.au/MoreThanASpectator

Media contact

Saraya Musovic, Senior Media & Communications Advisor – Engagement, Our Watch – 0407 091 383, Saraya.musovic@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.”


Our Watch leads Australia's work to stop violence against women and their children before it starts. The organisation was created to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and children.

To do this, Our Watch works to increase gender equality and respect in all aspects of everyday life, such as through schools; workplaces; media; sporting organisations; social marketing, and developing and influencing public policy.

Our Watch’s work derives from the government’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022.