A new community-based program to engage youth living in multicultural communities in sport was launched this week—Harmony Week—in Adelaide.
Funded by the Australian Government, the Diversity in Sport, Everyone Belongs program is an initiative of Harmony Week that focuses on ensuring young people are engaged in their community through sport.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the program offers an opportunity to focus on multicultural youth and ensure sporting clubs, at all levels, reflect Australia’s diversity.
“Athletes are role models for our children, and it is important for our youth to see diversity among our professional sporting bodies, as well as developing programs that encourage diversity in sport,” Mr Coleman said.
“As part of this new program three of Adelaide’s high profile sporting role models are working with us to encourage greater diversity in sporting clubs and inspire young people to play sport.”
Role models who will be encouraging young people to engage in sport, include:
- Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja, who migrated to Australia with his family from Pakistan;
- Eleni Glouftsis, Australia’s first female AFL field umpire and granddaughter of Greek migrants; and
- Majok Deng, a professional basketballer who came to Australia as a refugee from South Sudan.
“Australia is the most successful multicultural country in the world, and there is nothing that unites us more than sport, and our national sporting heroes,” Mr Coleman said.
“We should be proud of our strong, harmonious and diverse society.”
Mr Coleman made the announcement while attending the Australian Islamic College, whose students were participating in activities that are part of the Port Adelaide Football Club’s “Power Intercultural Program”.
The Power Community Limited, which is the Port Adelaide Football Club’s not-for profit arm, was recently a recipient of $50,000 Federal Government funding through the Fostering Integration Grants Program.
The grant will be used for projects that use the power of sport to celebrate vibrancy of cultural diversity and expression, promote inclusion and build social cohesion by recognising the positive contribution of different cultures within Australia.
The Power Intercultural Program is being delivered to both male and female secondary school students in years 10 and 11 from schools across South Australia that have a minimum of 25 per cent of students from culturally and linguistically backgrounds, using AFL to breakdown social barriers to unite people.
“The Power Intercultural Program has grown significantly since its inception in 2017, with over 200 students from various cultural backgrounds participating in the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) component in 2019,” said Alipate Carlile, Multicultural Programs Manager of the Power Community Limited.
“Throughout the program students are engaged to explore their own culture, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and other cultures within their school community and how they all contribute to a developing Australian culture.”
“Power Community Limited is grateful for the support of all its funding partners, especially the Australian Commonwealth Government through the Fostering Integration Grants Program that
has allowed us to continue to grow the Power Intercultural Program and have a significant impact on the students and their families.”
Harmony Week events are happening across the country this week. See the website for more information.