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Latest Foundation News

‘I’ve found my passion’

A migrant from Vietnam, Huynh Quang shares how his work as a Community Foundation volunteer has set him on a new career path.

1:46pm  Jul 25, 2017

WBCF careers expo

WB Community Foundation’s Leadership Project held their annual Careers Expo last week.

11:24am  Jul 21, 2017

Hawk hosts 'Man vs. Food'

Club legend Doug Hawkins joins the Sons of the West Men's Health program to deliver a cooking session with a difference.

12:41pm  Jul 18, 2017

About the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation

The Western Bulldogs Community Foundation is the community services arm of the Western Bulldogs Football Club. It is registered as a PBI (Public Benevolent Institution) with DGR (Deductible Gifts Recipient) status and has its own Board.

Western Bulldogs Football Club has a long and proud history of being the Community Club of the AFL. The mission of our football club is to be the community where people are at their best. The club has a role in supporting people to be their true selves and that people will be accepted regardless of their gender race or faith. This is a mission that goes beyond the code and at the core of why the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation was set up to ensure the community work of the Western Bulldogs remains ongoing and sustainable.

SpiritWest Foundation Limited trading as the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation was incorporated on 27 September 2012. Since the date of incorporation the Foundation remained dormant until 2015. The year ended 31 October 2016 was the first full year of operations in which the Foundation ran its own programs.

The Foundation works closely with the club and utilises the Western Bulldogs brand as a powerful platform to engage a wide range of participants to positively influence their lives. This brand gives us an ability to reach a wide cross-section of community members who may be hard to engage otherwise. In addition to the foundation’s services the club continues to deliver a number of community engagement initiatives such as Grassroots football programs, schools programs and community camps through the club’s fan development team. 

The foundation works in partnership with government, corporate and community agencies to deliver services and programs that endeavour to improve social capital and the quality of life of people living in the Melbourne’s West through to regional western Victoria.

Our Vision

A thriving community where everyone matters,

And anyone can play a part in building a better world.

Our Mission

Our mission is that of the football club's, "to be the community where people are at their best."

Foundation Services & STREAMS

The Western Bulldogs Community Foundation works with the community for the community and delivers services to over 5,000 people across four streams annually:

Health & Wellbeing

Sporting clubs have a unique ability to achieve change in their communities. In line with this, the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation leverages the power of sport, in association with a range of health and community partners, to promote individuals to live happier and healthier lives. Our Health & Wellbeing stream aims to address some of the predominant health concerns through the development of facilitated health pathways, co-branded health networks and co-designed health and wellbeing programs. These health programs are extensive health promotion and behaviour change programs developed to leverage key entities from across the health, sport, education, corporate and government sectors. Our overall aim is to address worrying health standards among men and women living and working in Victoria’s west.

The Sons of the West Men’s health program (SOTW) is a leading health initiative supporting men to lead healthier lives and tackling the alarming health statistics across Melbourne’s west. It provides a platform for these men to explore the many facets of health and engage in activities to improve overall health and wellbeing. Using the power of the Western Bulldogs brand, SOTW has demonstrated an ability to engage a typical hard-to reach demographic and deliver a program that achieves real health outcomes. Over 1100 men go through Sons of the West men’s health program each year across 17 locations in western Victoria, many with complex health challenges, who have committed to making the rest of their life the best of their life.

SOTW program is offered throughout the year via three 10 week programs throughout the year (Preseason, Premiership Season and Leadership Academy) in addition to a newly introduced concept ‘the Locker Room’ a group therapy program run in conjunction with Victoria University Psychology clinic.

The Western Bulldogs Community Foundation has offered men’s health program, Sons of the West, since 2014 and will be launching its counterpart, Daughters of the West, in October

Diversity & Social Inclusion

Our Social Inclusion & Diversity stream aims to build self-reliant and connected communities that participate in and contribute back to our diverse society.

For generations, Melbourne’s west has been the first place that hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Australia have called home. Our region has among Australia’s highest rates of overseas born and is the most culturally diverse area in state. People from more than 130 different nations have made their new home in Melbourne’s west. We also have a significant indigenous population in the Western suburbs as well as Western Victoria. We celebrate diversity as an integral part of a united and cohesive community and aim to engage with multicultural, indigenous and all abilities communities via innovative programs.

Our Ready SETTLE Go Program enables over 2,000 migrants and refugees each year to successfully integrate and contribute to our community. it aims to facilitate a self-reliant and connected community participating in and contributing to the Australian society. The program supports new Australians in accessing mainstream services through utilising the unifying power of recreational activities and sports as the conduit to introduce Australian culture and values whilst promoting personal wellbeing and social connectedness. The program offers a range of community focused health education, leadership, youth and employability programs in the light of meaningful partnerships and referral pathways with organisations and services in the West.


Youth Leadership & Development

Our Youth Leadership & Development programs provide young people with hands on opportunities to become engaged in a learning pathway and grow as social leaders. Dedicated to shaping our future leaders, these programs support young people go through a journey of self-awareness, social awareness and ultimately community impact. These programs annually support over 200 young people to draw on their resilience and energy to lead and solve the problems of their own community.

Established in 2013Western Bulldogs Leadership Project (formerly Whitten project) is a dynamic youth leadership program delivered by the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation in partnership with local councils and other stakeholders. The free program is available to males and females in Year 9 or 10 who live in Victoria’s west. The intensive 6-month program offers practical and theory based activities designed to enhance participant’s capacities in; leadership, teamwork, communication, goal setting, support networks, resilience and community engagement. It uses the Western Bulldogs Football Club as a vehicle to inspire, educate and mentor leaders for social change Victoria’s West by providing nominated young people with an exciting range of life, civic and sport experiences in which to learn and develop from.

Our other youth leadership development programs include Camp Bulldog and Nallei-Jerring Koori Youth Leadership Project. In future, we have plans to pilot a Social Entrepreneurship Program and a Youth Employment Pathways Program for young people in the West- 14-16 Age Group.

Community Advocacy

We believe in, stand for, and work to promote community harmony. We work with the entire community to promote inclusiveness and equality for all, regardless of race, faith, gender or disability. We facilitate health and well-being events, family days, VFL carnivals, and CALDPlay Gala events as well as participating in other key community events in the west.

  • Over 20 community Engagement Events a year
  • Over 10,000 Total engagements annually
  • Supporting AFL themed rounds such as Indigenous round, multicultural round and White Ribbon Games to address social issues
  • Leveraging VFL/AFLW games to utilise VU Whitten Oval as a community hub for diverse and positive community interaction
  • Over 50 volunteers contributing over 5000 volunteer hours each year

Cultural Diversity AND Inclusion Statement

Western Bulldogs Community Foundation is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We are striving to further increase multicultural, Indigenous, and All Abilities involvement across our programs. Our services and programs welcome all participants regardless of language, sexual orientation, culture, ethnicity, religion, health or disability or socioeconomic background.

"We acknowledge that we are on traditional lands of the Kulin nation. We offer our respect to the Elders of these traditional lands, and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples past and present." - Acknowledgement of Country

Commitment to Child Safety

Our club is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. We want children to be safe, happy and empowered. We work to listen, empower, support and respect all children and young people, as well as our employees, contractors and volunteers.

We have zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently. We are committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.

We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously.

Our club has robust human resources and recruitment practices for all employees, contractors and volunteers. We committed to training and educating our employees and volunteers on child abuse risks.

We promote diversity and tolerance in our club, and people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds are welcome. We are committed to promoting cultural safety for Aboriginal children, cultural safety for children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability.