The North Melbourne Football Club was recently recognised for its community work and ongoing support for local students and families by being presented with the 2012 Premier's Award for Community Harmony at Government House.
The club's community and education program, known as The Huddle, has received numerous awards for its innovative programs and commitment to social cohesion since it was established in 2010.
"We are just thrilled to receive such a prestigious award from the Premier," North Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw told nmfc.com.au.
"It is a credit to all our staff, players and students who each contribute to what The Huddle is all about.
"I am incredibly proud of the amazing work our football club is doing in our local community by reaching out to people outside the four walls of Aegis Park and making a difference through the fantastic education, sport and mentoring programs we deliver.
"Watching this ground-breaking, one of a kind community facility develop over the last three years has been unbelievable but the most inspiring part is the way people have impacted."
In 2012 alone the Huddle reached 9,000 individuals who between them, participated in the programs a total of 20,000 times.
Initiatives include the schools program which challenges children to consider their place in our multicultural world; the sports programs, which this year offered football, soccer, basketball, netball, volleyball, cricket – and more – to young people who otherwise wouldn’t have the skills or opportunity to play; and a study support program, where nearly 100 young people worked with volunteer tutors to get the best out of themselves and their schooling.
Dr Sonja Hood, general manager of The Huddle, paid tribute to hardworking North Melbourne staff for achieving the latest success.
"I think this award is great recognition for the courage and innovation of North Melbourne in developing and nurturing such a unique facility," Hood said.
"It has been so encouraging to see what we can do to help others and how a football club can bring people together and create social cohesion."