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Handball for human rights as footy season kicks off

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THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP Attorney-General Minister for Emergency Management

MIKE SYMON MP Member for Deakin


28 March 2012


Young footy fans are learning that playing fair on the field is just as important off the field through a new online game, ‘Handball for Human Rights’.

In launching ‘Handball for Human Rights’, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon congratulated the Eastern Community Legal Centre for engaging kids on human rights in such a practical way.

“Kids know that playing fair on the sports field is about showing respect to others and everyone having a go, this is how we should behave in all aspects of life,” Ms Roxon said.

“This is a uniquely Australian way of teaching kids about their human rights through the great levelling medium of Aussie rules football.

“The wonderful thing about sport, as a tool to educate, is that every person, regardless of their religion, background or heritage - is equal on the field.

“Australians understand this in sport - we want to spread this culture further.”

Local Member for Deakin Mike Symon said that just as there are expectations of fair play on the sports field, human rights are about fairness on the playing field of life.

“Across the electorate schools use ideas of ‘mutual respect’ and ‘fair play’, this is the language of both sport and human rights,” Mr Symon said.

The Handball for Human Rights program is part of the ‘Human Rights are Aussie Rules’ project partly funded by Australia’s Human Rights Framework - Education Grants. The project teaches children and young people about human rights by connecting fair play on the field to fair play in life. It uses sport to transform human rights principles into fun and easy to understand ideas.

National Coordinator of the Human Rights are Aussie Rule Program, Tanja Kovac said that with the launch of Handball for Human Rights even more kids will be able to participate and learn about human rights.

“’Human Rights are Aussie Rules’ is education and inspiration, sport is the medium and human rights are the message,” Ms Kovac said.

“As today’s launch shows, community organisations play a vital role in teaching the Australian community about human rights and I’m extremely pleased to also be

announcing the opening of a further round of human rights education grants today” Ms Roxon said.

Australia’s Human Rights Framework—Education Grants is part of the Governments’ $12.4 million investment in human rights education initiatives across the community. This grant round is the third and will provide funding of at least $350,000 community groups and non-government organisations to deliver human rights education projects across Australia.

Applications for the 2012-13 round of grants close at 5:00pm AEST on Wednesday 9 May 2012. Further information is available at

For all media enquiries, please contact the Attorney-General’s Office on 02 6277 7300 or 0409 945 476