Mabior Chol, drafted last month to Richmond, said he wouldn’t be where he is today without the help of Geoff Palmer.
Palmer, the 2015 National Multicultural Ambassador of the Year, introduced Chol to football at Yeronga State High School six years ago.
From school footy, to playing for Yeronga at club level, right through to the Queensland Under 18 State Academy, Palmer was there for Chol, helping him achieve his dream.
Now, AFL Queensland is looking for the next wave of multicultural ambassadors like Palmer, to help connect communities with Australian football.
A multicultural ambassador is a role that can help identify young talent, can provide opportunities to all players, and pathways for aspiring AFL players of all backgrounds, Australia wide.
It could be through helping guide players through the talent program, being involved in grass roots programs like Auskick, or simply driving a person to training each week; an ambassador can contribute in so many different ways.
AFL Queensland Diversity Coordinator, Keith Shangare, said that an ambassador plays a vital role in facilitating the connection between the two.
“Queensland is home to people who speak more than 220 languages, hold more than 100 religious beliefs and come from more than 220 countries,” he said.
“The Australia Post Multicultural Community Ambassador Program captures the power of community engagement, and helps the person become the voice and first point of contact with the diverse communities across Queensland.
“To be an ambassador, you don’t have to deeply involved in the community, it’s about helping link the two parties together.”
Australian football is becoming the sport of choice for diverse communities; up to 25% of current AFL lists are from diverse backgrounds (11% Indigenous and 14% Multicultural), which means the role a multicultural ambassador has never been more important.
The program runs from the 1st March until the 31st of October.
To register, or for more information, head to http://www.aflcommunity.com.au/index.php?id=443
By Andrew Wiles