The AFL officially launched the 2016 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round today at the Female Orphan School in the Parramatta campus of Western Sydney University.
The Toyota AFL Multicultural Round highlights the contribution different communities have made to Australian Football, while highlighting the extraordinary power the game has in uniting all people of all backgrounds.
AFL Commissioner Gabrielle Trainor said the significance of the Female Orphan School in Western Sydney was not lost on her or the AFL.
“The Female Orphan School was built in 1813 and its purpose was to house and look after orphaned or deserted girls,” Ms Trainor said.
“It was the first welfare organization in New South Wales, and an early sign of the kind of society that Australians cherish – one dedicated to a fair go, with a decent social safety net.
“A young woman called Elizabeth spent ten years at the Female Orphan School in the early 1800s, and then went on to marry Horatio Wills, and they had a son called Tom Wills – who is widely credited as helping invent the rules of Australia’s first football code – Australian Football.
“It makes a lot of sense to launch our Multicultural Round in this place, a building steeped in the history of our nation, and connected closely to the birth of our great game.
“A reminder for all of us unless you are indigenous, we are all migrants to this land, and that in celebrating Multicultural Round, we are in fact celebrating the strength and success of our migrant nation,” she said.
The Toyota AFL Multicultural Round launch event was hosted by journalist Angela Pippos who led a panel discussion with New South Wales Multicultural Minister, John Ajaka, Western Sydney Hip Hop artist L-FRESH The LION and CEO of Community Hubs Australia Sonja Hood.
AFL Ambassador and former Hawthorn player, Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico, also hosted a Q&A session with Stephen Coniglio and Aliir Aliir.
Thanks to Telstra, all nine matches across Round 16 of the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round will be broadcast in one of seven languages available on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live App.
Program of matches below (all local times):
Thursday July 7
Port Adelaide v Hawthorn, Adelaide Oval at 7.20pm – Mandarin
(Commentators: Jamie Pi and Jinsong Li)
Friday July 8
Geelong Cats v Sydney Swans, Simonds Stadium at 7.50pm – Greek (Commentators: Timothy Dionyssopoulos and Nick Thodos)
Saturday July 9
GWS GIANTS v Collingwood, Spotless Stadium at 1.40pm – Hindi (Commentators: Manpreet Singh and Harbir Kang)
Gold Coast SUNS v Brisbane Lions, Metrion Stadium at 4.35pm – Arabic (Commentators: Rick Kerbatieh and Wassim Rafihi)
Western Bulldogs v Richmond, Etihad Stadium at 7.25pm – Vietnamese
(Commentators: Diana Nguyen and Hung Huynh)
Melbourne v Fremantle, TIO Stadium at 7.10pm, Spanish
(Commentators: Juan Moya and Peter Pino)
Sunday July 10
Carlton v Adelaide Crows, MCG at 1.10pm – Italian
(Commentators: Diego Ghiradi and Dario Castaldo)
West Coast Eagles v North Melbourne, Domain Stadium at 1.20pm – Mandarin
(Commentators: Jamie Pi and Euphie Rong)
Essendon v St Kilda, Etihad Stadium at 4.40pm – Hindi
(Commentators: Manpreet Singh and Harbir Kang)
AFL Multicultural Festival presented by Australia Post
On Saturday July 9 from 11am – 7pm the AFL, GWS GIANTS and Australia Post are bringing the AFL Multicultural Festival to Sydney. Celebrating the many cultures who share a passion for footy, this FREE event offers rides, food stalls, AFL clinics, henna and face painters, multicultural workshops, Bollywood dancing, PLUS Justice Crew performing LIVE!
Happening in Cathy Freeman Park, Sydney Olympic Park (opposite the main entry to Spotless Stadium), the festival will run two hours before and after the GWS GIANTS v Collingwood match.
Australia Post is the official community inclusion partner of the AFL.
Australia Post CEO and Managing Director, Ahmed Fahour, said Australia Post is committed to celebrating Australia’s rich diversity and aims to build a better future for communities everywhere, every day.
“We have a diverse workforce with 36,000 people from 136 nations. In fact, almost a quarter of our employees are from non-English speaking backgrounds. As an organisation, we are passionate about inclusion, acceptance and cultural diversity.
“AFL is a fantastic way to bring people together and build awareness, empathy and understanding of diverse groups as well as and break down personal and social barriers. Let’s work together to accept, embrace and celebrate each other’s differences every day to create a safe, inclusive Australia for all,” Mr Fahour said.
Highlights of the 2016 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round
- The AFL Umpires will have the word ‘UMPIRE’ translated into one of six languages and printed on their uniform
- Orange flags will be used by the AFL goal umpires at all matches signifying harmony
- The Sherrin match balls with have the word ‘WELCOME’ printed in six different languages
- Bi-lingual ’50’ on each of the 50m arcs at all of the matches across the round, correlating to the language theme for the game
- Thousands of new fans and communities will experience live AFL action for the first time through the AFL MyPassport program where free tickets have been made available and supported by Australia Post.
AFL Club Coaching Diversity Program
The AFL and the AFL Coaches Association announced the implementation of the AFL Club Coaching Diversity Program. This program will see six clubs – Brisbane Lions, GWS GIANTS, Sydney Swans, Essendon, Carlton and St Kilda – appoint coaches with multicultural backgrounds to their football departments for the remainder of the 2016 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors
There are 17 Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors for season 2016, they each promote inclusiveness and the game through their individual community work.
- Nic Naitanui(West Coast – Fijian) works one day per week at the WAFC supporting the ongoing development of the West Australian multicultural strategy and the Naitanui Talent Academy.
- Bachar Houli (Richmond – Lebanese) works one day per week at AFL House developing the Bachar Houli Islamic Schools Program in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, the Bachar Houli Academy nationally and Ramadan dinners.
- Adam Saad (Gold Coast SUNS – Lebanese) will work on developing the Bachar Houli Islamic Schools Program in Queensland, mentor participants at the National Bachar Houli Academy and provided support to the Queensland Ramadan dinner. He is also supporting the AFL’s World Team at the NAB Under-16 National Championships as well as helping drive the Queensland multicultural strategy through key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.
- Tom Nicholls (Gold Coast SUNS – Fijian) is supporting the Queensland multicultural strategy through key appearances at multicultural events, including Toyota AFL Multicultural Round. Tom is working with the AFL’s World Team at the NAB Under-16 National Championships.
- David Zaharakis (Essendon – Greek) is continuing his work on AFL Victoria’s talent programs, mentoring young multicultural footballers and attending key multicultural events.
- Paul Puopolo (Hawthorn – Italian) will assist in the management of the AFL Multicultural talent camps and National All Nations Cup, as well as attending key multicultural events.
- Tom Hawkins (Geelong) is passionate about uniting diverse communities through Australian Football and is supporting the AFL multicultural strategy through key appearances at multicultural events, including Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.
- Alipate Carlile (Port Adelaide – Fijian) works one day per week with the SANFL supporting the ongoing development of the South Australian multicultural strategy, Toyota AFL Multicultural Round, Alipate Carlile Talent Academy and facilitate cultural education sessions with community football clubs.
- Jimmy Toumpas (Port Adelaide – Greek) facilitates cultural education sessions with community leagues and community football clubs as well as assisting with multicultural talent programs in South Australia.
- Stephen Coniglio (GWS GIANTS – Italian) works with the New South Wales Multicultural Talent Academy, helping drive the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round, as well as being a Talent Mentor to multicultural participants in the talent pathway.
- Aliir Aliir (Sydney – Sudanese) supports the New South Wales multicultural strategy through key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.
- Lin Jong (Western Bulldogs – Taiwanese and East Timorese) works on participation programs in the Western suburbs of Melbourne including an umpiring academy focusing on the Asian community and facilitates cultural education sessions with community football clubs.
- Jason Johannisen (Western Bulldogs – South African) supports the Victorian multicultural strategy through key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.
- Tendai Mzungu (Fremantle – Zimbabwean) works on the Multicultural programs in West Australia through key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.
- Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions – Yugoslavian) in conjunction with his role as a NAB AFL Auskick Ambassador, supports the ongoing development of the Queensland multicultural strategy to help unite diverse communities through Australian Football and has assisted in programs including the Queensland All Nations Cup.
- Darcy Vescio (Western Bulldogs Women’s Team- Chinese & Italian) supports the AFL’s female multicultural talent strategy through development programs and will also make key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.
- Sabrina Frederick-Traub (Melbourne Women’s Team – English) supports the AFL’s female multicultural talent strategy through development programs and will also make key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.