Project Momentum

Project Momentum – engaging men to become allies for equity and change

From 2018 to 2020, HealthWest Partnership and Victoria University (VU) worked together on a project to engage students and staff who identify as male aged 18-30 years in prevention of violence against women.

Working Together with Men resource – now available!

This resource can be used as a step-by-step guide for creating your own Working Together with Men project, or to inspire and support projects you may already be running or creating.

Download the Working Together with Men resource

Project Background

HealthWest Partnership and Victoria University (VU) worked together on a project to engage students and staff who identify as male aged 18-30 years.

Are you a change agent and ally for equity?Project Momentum provided men with the opportunity to develop and implement prevention projects alongside of the newly formed VU female accountability panel, to actively respond to violence against women.

Project Momentum followed in the successful footsteps of the Working Together with Men (WTWM) project model, which saw the creation of the Men of Brimbank.

The evidence underpinning the WTWM project model and community mobilisation strategies with men is strong, but further evidence of the efficacy of the model in differing settings, particularly among young and young CALD men is required.

This work is at the forefront of engaging men in the prevention of violence against women and bravely and boldly supported men to become allies for equity and change.

Project Highlights

Experience the Man Box!

In conjunction with Vic Polytechnic Construction and Sound departments, the last Project Momentum spin off project was launched during O week at Vic Uni in March 2020.

“Enter The Man Box” is an art installation piece that explores the narrative of manhood and what men say to each other to make them a “Real Man.”

Watch what men have to say about the narrative of manhood …

Project Momentum: A Journey of 365+ Days

Around 30 community members, partners and allies gathered in November 2019 to hear just what Project Momentum got up to over the previous 365 + days!

We were privileged to have a welcome to country from Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Georgina Nicholson, who made us feel at home, sharing stories from her own childhood.

Participants from the Man Box Story Project read poems and prose to the audience, sharing their personal experience of life in and out of the Man Box.

The project allies ended the event with a panel chat, sharing their projects successes and challenges, as well as their own personal learnings gained over the last year. All men shared that the project had significantly changed how they see themselves and other men and where they have attempted to make changes in how they challenge men and themselves in order to prevent violence against women.

When asked should other men get involved in activities like Project Momentum, all 4 allies were clear, doing ally work is not easy and
“If you are not ready to look inside yourself and question what you think it is a man should be, then this kind of project isn’t for you.”


Poems, prose and plays: The Man Box Story

Project Momentum’s Man Box Story Project unleashed creativity in the west, as men worked with author Dee White to explore all things “Real Men” and how masculinity has impacted their lives. Dee supported men to work on poems, short prose, screen plays and novels.


Levelling the Playing Field Pilot

Levelling the Playing Field, the first small scale pilot project for Project Momentum, was held in July in partnership with EDFL, Vic Uni and HealthWest.

This first ever female focused umpire skills training opportunity, saw 9 women aged 13 to 59 successfully complete 5 skills-based workshops, as well as having the chance to learn from some of the great women of football including VFL Mel Sambrooks, WAFL Rohenna Young and AFL/VFL Eleni Gkouftsis. Not only did the women get a chance to learn the physical skills of the role and rules of the game, but also how to respond to backlash on the field and off!

A key part of Project Momentum was in supporting male allies to co-create projects that activate areas of privilege and skill in their lives. The key male ally for this project is an experienced local league umpire who also co-developed the workshops and co-facilitated with female professionals.

This project aimed to challenge gender stereotypes, enhance women’s confidence and connection to AFL, as well as create more entry level opportunities for women to enter a male-dominated area of sport.

Even in the cold of night and in the rain, there was total dedication and smiles all round, it was a real winner of a pilot!

Women’s Accountability Panel

After completing their intensive training sessions, the Senior Male Allies presented their project ideas to the Women’s Accountability Panel and project partners. Each idea is attempting to apply key action areas from the Change The Story National Framework, as well as strengthening links and opportunities to engage other men and boys in the planning and implementation of the projects and ultimately end violence against women.

The men are integrating the feedback from the Accountability Panel into their plans and beginning the community consultation and engagement phase of their projects. The projects are attempting to tackle violence against women at multiple levels, from community events, proposing curriculum changes to undergraduate degrees, creation of a children’s book, drumming workshops and supporting women to gain their AFL umpire qualification.


Anna Vu, Prevention Manager; (03) 9248 9659