Round 19: Are We Ready For A Multicultural Feast?

The 2015 AFL Multicultural Round is almost upon us and footy supporters are in for a feast of entertainment, events, promotions and raising of awareness for the diversity of people that make up our great game.


For the past few weeks the AFL’s Diversity unit has been putting in place the organisation of events, media opportunities and social media saturation to ensure that the widest possible amplification of the round is achieved. Volunteers all over the nation, Multicultural Community Ambassadors and other staff, have been visiting schools with clinics, presentations and the like to spread the word through communities, schools and a wide variety of cultural groups.


More recently, the Essendon Football club has shown its own contribution of the Multicultural Round with the release of its documentary “Embracing India” on Foxtel looking at the journey of Bomber players Dyson Heppell, Zack Merrett, David Zaharakis and Joe Daniher as they travelled India to meet kids and help propel the game. Within Australia the club is also active in Indian communities across the nearby suburbs in Melbourne.


The Port Adelaide football club has already opted to display their links to China and across Asia with players names printed on their playing jumpers written in Mandarin whilst the front of the jumper will feature both the Australian and Chinese flags –


The umpires are part of the fun also with the name “umpire” printed in the seven most commonly used languages across the world (not including English) on the back of their strips. The words will be written in Arabic, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Vietnamese and Hindi. The same will be done for the balls used for the round with the word “Sherrin” translated to those languages.


The area of Yarra Park will host the inaugural Multicultural Festival in the lead up to the Collingwood versus Carlton match at the MCG on Friday night as a way to kick off the weekend. The event runs from 11.30am to 5.30pm and will include a huge variety of food, dance and free activities for kids and families –


Across the nation Multicultural Community Ambassadors will be addressing players at senior and junior fixtures to spread the messages of diversity and the multicultural contributions to Australian Rules football from the past, the present and into the future as our game continues to expand with existing markets and into new communities. This has been augmented by visits to schools and club training sessions to expand the reach of the messages as far as possible, especially to junior players that will take the game deep into the future.


To top this off, calls of this weekend’s rounds of matches will be broadcast in the languages of the match representing that language and apps have been released to accompany the distribution of match details across those languages. AFL player Multicultural Ambassadors have also been on social media during the week chatting with fans about multicultural round issues.


The round is sure to be a great success, but more importantly it will leave a greater level of awareness across the football communities of how the cultural diversity of Australia is indelibly stamped into the national game of Australia.


For more information about the associated “Embrace Diversity” campaign , and to better understand the links to the AFL Multicultural Round, visit the website from the Victorian Government at:



About Wesley Hull

Passionate lover of Australian Rules football. Have played and coached the game and now spend my time writing about the game I love and introducing young people to the game through school coaching. Will try and give back to the game what it has given me for more that 40 years.

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