Australian Football has the capacity to bring people together from diverse cultural backgrounds. With this in mind, the AFL is working closely with state football bodies to build strong working relationships with many diverse communities to identify barriers and to develop strategies to encourage involvement.
A range of resources and programs have been developed to help local leagues and clubs located within diverse communities to take action to ensure their activities are welcoming and inclusive to create safe and healthy family friendly football environments for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities.
The Multicultural Program has 10 Multicultural Development Officers (MDO’s) based in Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. This enables the AFL and the AFL clubs to reach more people in the community and add value and quality to all our initiatives. The MDO’s are based at and working closely with AFL clubs to deliver programs encouraging participation in Australian Football within multicultural communities and schools across greater Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and some rural areas.
The program aims to introduce young people from targeted culturally and linguistically diverse communities to Australian Football and to influence mainstream Australian Football clubs to embrace multicultural diversity as part of their ongoing operations.
- Twenty percent of Australians were born in another country, of whom more than half came to Australia from non-English speaking nations. Combined with their Australian-born children, they constitute 43 percent of the population.
- By 2025 overseas born families will outnumber locally born families and by 2049 Australia’s population is expected to grow to 35 million, the majority of this increase will come from migrant sources. Two thirds will continue to come from Asian nations.
- In 2009, the number of permanent and long-term migrants arriving in Australia has soared to more than 500,000 a year.
- Multicultural Australians have economic clout. Their spending power has doubled since 1991 and is now over $58 billion a year.
- Sydney and Melbourne more than 50% of the population is born overseas or has one or more parents born overseas.
2013 AFL Multicultural Highlights:
- Conducted 12 Australian Citizenship ceremonies in partnership with AFL Clubs
- Thirty-seven tours conducted at AFL Club venues reaching 1100 participants
- Engaged in 50 Multicultural Festivals
- Seven-hundred children participated in half time NAB AFL Auskick Rules & Grid Games
- Over 25,000 multicultural people visited a AFL game through the Multicultural program
- Established 15 new NAB AFL Auskick centres with over 1250 participants
- Implemented the Multicultural Schools Program in over 200 schools reaching over 20,000 students
- Eight-hundred-and-fifty students involved in Multicultural Schools Cup
- Eight Islamic schools Participated in the Bachar Houli Cup
- Sixty Secondary schools participated in the AFL 9s Multicultural competition
- The Multicultural State Academy Camp reached 500 participants, with 80 attending the Camp
- World Team competed in the National Under 16’s Championships for a second time
- Two participants invited to the National combines from the World Team
- One participant invited to the AIS team
- Four participants nominated for the 2012-2013 draft
- Thirty participants involved in a mentoring program with Leigh Montagna
- Inaugural AFL Multicultural Round was conducted nationally
- AFL Media accreditation organised for a range of Ethnic Media outlets
- Distributed 7,000 Auskick Footballs to students
- Developed AFL Multicultural Social media platforms with 1500 followers & fans
- Development of Multicultural Football Show focusing on community football
- Announcement of the AFL Multicultural Team of Champions
- Eleven Multicultural Development Officers & 2 trainees employed by the AFL
- Ten AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors employed by AFL
- Facilitated seven Diversity panel workshops nationally focusing on creating inclusive environments
- Our Australia Post AFL Multicultural Program Ambassador Bachar Houli was the inaugural recipient of the Award for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding, recognized for his work as our ambassador
- AFL Multicultural Program Partners, the Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne, were both honoured at Victoria’s 2012 Multicultural Awards for Excellence
- AFL NSW/ACT’s multicultural team received the 2012 STARTTS Humanitarian Award for Sports for their work with African communities in Southern NSW
The AFL has established designated Multicultural NAB AFL Auskick Centers for participants to experience the national introductory AFL program.
The NAB AFL Auskick Centers are supported by local volunteers and community organisations using Australian football as a way to drive social inclusion.
As part of the NAB AFL Auskick Center program, participants attend an AFL game -- many for the first time -- and also participate in the NAB AFL Auskick half-time games.
For further information on Multicultural NAB AFL Auskick Centers contact your state Multicultural Development Officer.
The AFL is committed to educating and training AFL community clubs and organisations about the role they play in establishing a diversified environment.
Community clubs play are vital for connecting participants with the mainstream community and providing a safe inclusive environment.
Diversity and cross cultural awareness training is delivered by external partners and current AFL footballers to clubs, players, coaches and staff at any level.
To participate in diversity and cross cultural awareness training contact your state Multicultural Development Officer.