Empowered is delivered to Year 10 female students across South Australia to educate on healthy relationships. Image: Angus Northeast.

AHEAD of International Women's Day (IWD), we sat down with Power Community Limited's (PCL) Community Programs Lead, Christine Glenn, and General Manager, Jake Battifuoco to unpack the change the club's not-for-profit is achieving at a grassroots level statewide. 

Leaning into the theme of IWD, Count Her In: Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress, it was a poignant moment to stop and reflect on the impact PCL's Empowered and Power to End Violence Against Women (PTEVAW) programs have had across multiple years in inspiring, educating, shaping and paving the way for the next generation of female leaders. 

Empowered is delivered to Year 10 female students across South Australia and includes an annual leadership event that sees a series of trailblazing female leaders address close to 500 female students. 

The program curriculum provides young women with the tools they need to understand healthy relationships, provide greater understanding of factors that contribute to gender inequality, how to challenge gender stereotypes, overcome societal barriers and develop a strong sense of self-worth.  

The program, headlined in 2023 by Becky Lucas, provides young women with the tools they need to understand healthy relationships. Image: Angus Northeast.

In 2023, 98% of the 1800 female students who completed the program indicated they have a better understanding of how attitudes, gender inequality and behaviour contribute to violence against women, 95% found the skills learnt in the program useful, and 96% learnt something new. 

Community Programs Team Lead, Christine Glenn said addressing and educating female students on how to breakdown gender stereotypes at young age is a critical factor in making change and inspiring the next generation of women. 

“Our research indicates that educating students at a young age is critical to making necessary change, and ensuring we’re empowering future female leaders,” Ms. Glenn said.  

“The theme for IWD is underpinned by the goal to reach a world that is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, and women are given equal opportunities to earn, learn and lead. 

“Pleasingly, the Empowered program has been working toward these goals by educating female students on how to break down barriers and inspire young women that they can achieve success in any field, in any role, for many years now. 

“In partnership with the Department for Human Services, we expanded our Respectful Relationships education in 2023, delivering workshops to over 580 First Nations secondary school students across South Australia.  

The Empowered program is developed in conjunction with Centacare Catholic Family Services and the Government of South Australia. Image: Angus Northeast.

“This expansion forms part of the important Break the Cycle campaign which works to empower young people to break the cycle of domestic abuse.  

“Change is important and change at a grassroots level is critical. We're so proud of these programs and are committed to furthering change and education for years to come”. 

A First Nations student, who wishes to remain anonymous, reflected on their involvement in the Empowered program saying it helped her understand that she has a choice. 

“It (the Empowered program) helped me understand why Aboriginal kids and adults continue to form unhealthy relationships due to generational trauma.  

“I believe it’s important for children to understand these things and use it to guide them through life to be able to make safe and healthy decisions. 

“The staff who spoke were inspiring by giving their own information and views on violence against women and gendered stereotypes.  

“Hearing from players made an impact on my life and helped me to be confident, to say no, and know that I have a choice.” 

2023 PCL Social Impact Report


General Manager of PCL, Jake Battifuoco reflected on the importance of both the Empowered program in conjunction with the male focused PTEVAW program. 

“The Empowered program is something we’re proud of and is a focus for us to grow and continue for many years to come to ensure we’re playing an active role in promoting equality, and inspiring and empowering the next generation of female leaders.  

“The program is carefully designed in conjunction with Centacare Catholic Family Services and the Government of South Australia, with the support of the South Australian Women’s Fund. 

“This year the program had experienced significant growth taking the total number of students to over 2300, with 5,000 students projected to be reached in the next 3 years. 

“Running parallel to Empowered is Power to End Violence Against Women, a primary prevention program that promotes respectful relationships and gender equality to year 10 male students.  

The Power to End Violence Against Women has reached over 10,000 students since its inception. Image: Michael Sullivan.

“Developed in conjunction with Centacare Catholic Family Services and the Department for Education, this program is underpinned by a vision for young men to foster healthy attitudes to relationships from a young age, while also challenging entrenched attitudes that can contribute to gender-based violence. 

In consultation with the Department for Education, the program complements the Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum that is delivered in both primary and secondary schools to ensure a consistent curriculum is delivered to students to best drive change outcomes”.  

Find out more about the impact of both programs in PCL’s 2023 Social Impact Report.