Cultural Education Training making a difference to football community

Football is the gateway to a good community. It’s a sport that unites and includes regardless of a player’s background or personal circumstance.

As custodians of the sport, AFL NSW/ACT is committed to ensuring everyone can play footy and feel welcome when they do. We want players to bring their full selves to training and matches. We don’t want anyone to feel inhibited by their environment, but empowered.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion has gone online in July and August 2021, where we have engaged three industry experts to deliver a series of free Cultural Education Workshops. Register your interest here. A representative from AFL NSW/ACT will then provide you with further details.

Indigenous: Mirri Mirri
Monday, 9 August – 6:00pm-7:00pm

Multicultural: Settlement Services International
Tuesday, 10 August – 6:00pm-7:30pm

LGBTQI+: Pride in Sport
Monday, 2 August – 6:00pm-7:30pm
Tuesday, 3 August – 6:00pm-7:30pm

Settlement Services International is a community organisation and social business that supports newcomers and other Australians achieve their full potential. Its workshops help community football clubs foster multicultural involvement.

Mirri Mirri is an Aboriginal owned company helping all Australians improve their understanding and awareness of Indigenous cultures. The session is fun, engaging and, importantly, challenges perceptions and biases of those involved.

Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist sporting organisations at all levels include employees, players, volunteers and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities. Its workshop will deliver valuable lessons on the importance of inclusion for LGBTQI+ players in football clubs.

Workshop participant and Vice President of Forest Lions Junior AFL, Joshua Gaughan, said of the Mirri Mirri Program:

“I was particularly impressed with the Mirri Mirri session. It was unbelievable in the way it explained and brought to light aspects of the Indigenous culture to a group wanting and needing to know more. The host, Paul Sinclair, as a proud Indigenous member of our community was exceptional in his delivery and touch of humour to help us (Indigenous and non-Indigenous in the session) understand and respect our own uniquely different cultures.

“I thought the session was brilliant and again, on behalf of our club and from myself, I thank AFL NSW/ACT for making such education sessions available. It highlights to me that by listening and sharing we are better placed to understand and accept the difference in cultures and ultimately as individual and clubs be better placed to remove barriers that may prevent us from being more openly diverse and inclusive.”

Ash Moeller, Coach of East Coast Eagles’ premier division women’s side, noted:

“Last night I attended the online learning experience with Mirri Mirri which was an unbelievably engaging and interactive session. It further highlighted the importance of understanding Indigenous culture.

“This was NOT a power point presentation that was hard to get through. It was a fun, engaging and informative session delivered by a brilliant presenter.”

These Cultural Education Workshops clearly have a positive and lasting effect on participants. AFL NSW/ACT offers these free sessions hoping to continue to lift cultural awareness among our football community and to strengthen our inclusive behaviour.