AFLW star, Tayla Harris and leading Australian sports presenter, Tiffany Cherry have today been announced as Our Watch ambassadors.
Our Watch Chief Executive Officer Patty Kinnersly said the new ambassadors would be invaluable additions to the national organisation established to drive nation-wide change in the structures, norms and practices that led to violence against women and their children.
“Tiffany has long been a vocal and passionate supporter of gender equality,” Ms Kinnersly said.
“Having been personally affected by the male-dominated sporting media industry, Tiffany has consistently advocated to improve the structural and cultural issues that create barriers to participation in sport and sports media for women and girls.
“Likewise, this time last year, Tayla experienced firsthand how women’s athleticism and sporting talent can be devalued and publicly degraded.
“I admire Tayla’s courage in calling out online trolls and standing up for other young women who don’t have a voice. She is already a formidable and tenacious trailblazer in women’s sport and beyond, and she’s just getting warmed up.”
Ms Harris said she wanted to use her new platform as an Our Watch ambassador to talk about her own experience to help put an end to gender inequality and disrespect towards women.
“In March last year when a photo of me playing footy went up online, some people said some pretty crude and sexist things about me behind the comfort of their keyboards,” she said.
“The tirade of sexualised and demeaning abuse I copped meant that I had a steep learning curve in the many forms of abuse and violence women can experience.
“Even though the abuse I experienced was confined to the online space, I realised that I needed to call it out and label it as violence against women. If we don’t do something about it, we are adding to the bigger issue of society’s complicit acceptance that women’s achievements and abilities are valued less than men’s.”
Ms Cherry said she hoped that she could use her role as an Our Watch ambassador to continue to break down gender stereotypes and ‘do something’ in the face of disrespect towards women.
“I think everyone can call out sexism when they see it – especially the seemingly little things that put women down,” Ms Cherry said.
“Some people may say ‘oh c’mon that’s just taking it too far’, but it leads to the next level, and then the next level and then the next level is potentially violence, and then the next level is potentially death – so we all have a responsibility to stop violence against women before it starts.”
The newly appointed ambassadors’ first official commitment for the organisation will be taking part in an event on Tuesday 3 March to celebrate Australian accessory brand MIMCO’s renewed commitment to Our Watch. Now in its fifth year, the partnership will see MIMCO donate 100 per cent of profits to Our Watch on International Women’s Day.
*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, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.”
To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit Media Making Change.
About Our Watch
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 structures, norms and practices that lead to violence against women and children.