Phil Cleary – anti violence & mental health

Phil Cleary

Phil Cleary grew up in Coburg in Melbourne’s northern suburbs where he completed an Arts degree at La Trobe University, majoring in politics and sociology. He is a former teacher, VFA/VFL premiership player and coach, and Independent member of the federal parliament – winning former PM Bob Hawke’s seat of Wills at a by-election in 1992 and at the general election in 1993.

Phil is a passionate advocator against family violence, and the author of three books; Cleary Independent (1998), Just another little murder (2002) and Getting away with murder (2005).

Since the murder of his 25-year-old sister, Vicki, in 1987 Phil has been at the forefront of the campaign to stop violence against women. It’s widely acknowledged that his books, newspaper articles and media commentaries were pivotal to the abolition of the law of provocation in Victoria and changing community attitudes to violence against women.  Phil is active in speaking to football clubs, community groups and businesses on how they can play a role in ending violence against women.

In July 2016, Phil was appointed to the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council. Following the recommendations handed down by the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Victorian Government established the council to advise and consult on the extensive family violence reform agenda in the state. Chaired by former Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, and comprising of 12 members who all have a lived experience of family violence, Phil has contributed to the work of the council in many significant ways.

Phil has played a major role in shaping how Victoria responds, and works to prevent, family violence. The level and type of engagement is unseen in other jurisdictions both in Australia and overseas.

Phil Cleary

Speaking and community engagement

Whilst the anti-violence campaign has become a major part of my life, I did spend 4 years in the federal parliament, 18 years as a player and coach with Coburg in the VFA/VFL, 30 years broadcasting VFA/VFL football, have interviewed a stream of AFL identities – Malthouse, Judd, Brereton, Roos, et al – for the Northern Blues breakfasts and have a regular spot on SEN with Andy Maher and Bob Murphy.

I also discussed the McEnroe – Court issue with them and the Sports Grants question.

The anti-violence campaign

I have spoken at schools, football clubs, municipal councils, corporate events, and community meetings, and now host the annual Vicki Cleary Day with the Coburg Football Club.

To date I have engaged in speaking as a small portion of my professional life. However, I am keen to spread the anti-violence word and increase my speaking engagements across Australia. This includes discussing what we mean when we say violence against women is a serious social problem and how creating gender equality and respectful relationships in football clubs and the community can eradicate the source of the problem.

To secure Phil at your sports club, charity or company, Contact Us today.