AFL Queensland was one of five organisations recognised as the state’s top multicultural achievers at the recent Queensland Multicultural Awards.
The organization received the Community Sector Organisation (not-for-profit) Award – for the Diversity Employment Program; an innovative initiative creating opportunities for migrants, refugees and international students to gain work experience in the sporting industry.
In 2016, the program provided 10 part-time positions; five to young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds through Multicultural Development Australia (MDA) and five to international students through Study Brisbane
Seven of these employees are still working for AFL Queensland and will become mentors and provide training and development for the 2017 intake of this program, which has been expanded to take on 16 new recruits.
“AFL Queensland is committed to developing a workforce that is truly reflective of the diverse communities in which and we work and it is an honour to be acknowledged,” said Mr. Ensor
“The program experience helped give these employees the confidence to know they can perform successfully in a job and made them feel more connected to and welcomed by the local community.”
“The Diversity Employment Program has also given AFL Queensland’s staff of almost 250 people a different perspective of thinking, life experience, traditions and beliefs, which has led to a greater understanding of cultural diversity and an inclusive workforce.
Chief Executive Officer Kerrin Benson said MDA is delighted that AFL Queensland’s Diversity Employment program has been recognised for their leadership in creating diversity within their workforce through employment of refugee young people and international students from all parts of the world.
“Being part of sporting and school communities is an amazing way for young people to contribute to their community while mentoring kids and teaching them skills – what better way to build understanding and respect,” said Ms. Benson.
“We have seen such amazing outcomes amongst our refugee young people through the program; one particular young man who had only been in Australia for five months was employed to deliver NAB AFL Auskick, then went on to gain employment within the school. There are many more success stories of this wonderful program.
“This program has such great potential across Queensland and the leadership of AFL Queensland should be celebrated and shared across sporting codes.”
The Awards form an integral part of Queensland Multicultural Month, the state’s largest multicultural celebration, which is held during August.
For more details on Queensland Multicultural Month head to www.qld.gov.au/multiculturalmonth.