Helping young men to have healthy, respectful relationships

The Albanese Labor Government is committed to ending violence against women and children in one generation and helping school-aged boys and young men learn to have healthy, respectful relationships is key to progressing that goal.

The Government is today announcing it will fund a three-year trial commencing next year to explore what works best to counteract the harmful impacts of social media messaging targeting young men and boys and instead promote a sense of respect and building supportive relationships with their peers and themselves.

The healthy masculinities project trial will receive $3.5 million in funding to help combat harmful gender stereotypes perpetuated online and will be delivered via a range of mediums both face-to-face through sporting clubs or other community organisations, or digitally on social media platforms.

It will provide school-aged boys with a greater understanding of ways to have a healthy relationship with masculinity and will better equip this cohort to develop healthier and more satisfying relationships.

Recent research has found that 25 per cent of teenage boys in Australia look up to social media personalities who perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes and condone violence against women.

The funding is part of the First Action Plan Priorities Fund, an $11.9 million measure addressing urgent and emerging priorities under the First Action Plan of the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-32.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Government is committed to supporting men and boys to understand the importance of respectful relationships, and develop supportive relationships with their male peers.

This project is a critical first step to the Government better understanding the ways we can help encourage healthy masculinities in young men, and will inform a more established Commonwealth position on this issue.

“Research shows there are strong links between harmful forms of masculinity and the perpetration of violence against women,” said Minister Rishworth.

“Educating boys about healthy masculinity and providing them with positive role models are important steps to ending cycles of violence.

“This funding delivers on Action 1 under the First Action Plan, which is to advance gender equality and address the drivers of all forms of gender-based violence, including through initiatives aimed to improve community attitudes and norms.”

The grant round for the trial will open in early 2024, and will be available to organisations who have the specialist expertise to achieve results in these priority areas through appropriate funding processes.

“As violence against women continues to plague Australian communities, we must take important steps to address violent behaviour before it starts,” Minister Rishworth said.

“From extensive consultation, we know that fostering respect in young men is a prerequisite to creating a safer future for our next generation.”

More information on the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032 is available on the Department of Social Services website.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or visit

 If you are concerned about your behaviour or use of violence, you can contact the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit