Contributed by: Wesley Hull Wednesday, August 19 2015 @ 10:37 am ACST
The following is a media release from the AFL Diversity Unit highlighting the recognition of the Multicultural programs both at a football and wider community level. Being involved first hand there is an enormous amount of work involved and this award recognises the efforts of many people to grow the game for a healthy and diverse future.
The AFL is pleased to announce the AFL Multicultural Program has been awarded the Virgin Australia Sports Leadership Award at the 2015 Australian Migration and Settlement Awards in Canberra yesterday.
Hosted by the Migration Council Australia (MCA), the awards recognise the contribution of organisations and individuals in supporting migrants settle in Australia.
Established in 2005, the AFL Multicultural Program introduces multicultural communities to Australian Football through a number of programs focusing on community engagement, leadership opportunities, personal development, community strengthening, and talent identification.
Jason Mifsud, AFL Senior Adviser - Indigenous and Multicultural Affairs, said the AFL was humbled and proud to be recognised by the MCA.
“The AFL has a unique leadership role in the community with the capacity to influence social attitudes, add significant value to community development programs, and lead proactive change to produce greater social cohesion,” Mr Mifsud said.
“We are strong in the belief that football is a powerful vehicle for community strengthening and inclusion within the Australian community."
MCA Chief Executive Officer Carla Wilshire said diversity is a virtue for multicultural Australia and all finalists demonstrate how welcome and support can bring out the best of migrants living in Australia.
“Individuals and organisations like these selected as finalists in the Australian and Migration Settlement Awards show how important the value of support is to newly arrived migrants,” Ms Wilshire said.
Some highlights of the AFL Multicultural Program over the past decade include:
• 10 Australian Citizenship ceremonies conducted in partnership with AFL Clubs
• 227 multicultural community ambassadors from over 70 nationalities and 150 language groups
• Over 25,000 people visited a AFL game through the program
• Establishment of 15 new Multicultural AFL Auskick centres with over 1250 participants
• Free Multicultural Schools Programs in 220 schools reaching over 22,000 students
• 850 students involved in the annual Multicultural Schools Cup
• 150 participants and over 25 nationalities represented at the annual All Nations Cup.
• 30 Islamic schools represented in the Bachar Houli Cup