Norm Smith medallist Jason Johannisen and Lin Jong have been named as one of 19 Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors for 2017 on Wednesday
The Bulldogs pair are joined by AFLW footballers Sabrina Frederick-Traub (Brisbane Lions), Darcy Vescio (Carlton), Helen Roden (Collingwood) and Akec Makur Susan Chuot (Fremantle), and AFL stars Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions), Dyson Heppell (Essendon), David Zaharakis (Essendon), Jake Kolodjashnij (Geelong), Adam Saad (Gold Coast SUNS), Tom Nicholls (Gold Coast SUNS), Stephen Coniglio (GWS GIANTS), Christian Salem (Melbourne), Majak Daw (North Melbourne), Jimmy Toumpas (Port Adelaide), Bachar Houli (Richmond), Aliir Aliir (Sydney Swans) and Nic Naitanui (West Coast) in promoting some of the many diverse backgrounds in Australia’s Game.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the ambassadors played an important role in promoting diversity and inclusion within Australian Football and the broader community.
“The Ambassadors represent 12 AFL Clubs, four AFLW Clubs, and a wide range of diverse communities throughout Australia,” Mr McLachlan said.
“They will play a crucial role in increasing cultural awareness, promoting inclusion and encouraging participation at all levels of Australian Football.
“We have increased the number of female ambassadors from two to four in 2017, which reflects the growing prominence of NAB AFL Women’s and the commitment we have made to build the foundations of women’s football.
“It’s a historic year in our game. In addition to the launch of AFLW, we are also taking a Toyota AFL Premiership Season match to China in Round 8. The landscape of football is changing and the ambassadors reflect that,” he said.
In 2017, multicultural players make up 15 per cent of the AFL player lists across the 18 AFL Clubs and 7.8 per cent across the eight NAB AFL Women’s clubs.
The Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors will be at the forefront of AFL Multicultural Round to be held this year in Round 19 of the 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
With the support of Australia Post, the Round will continue to celebrate the many cultures that live within Australian Football and will highlight the community engagement initiatives being undertaken by the ambassadors and the entire Australian Football industry.
Australia Post Managing Director & Group CEO, Ahmed Fahour, said Australia Post’s ongoing commitment to celebrating diversity is a vision they share with the AFL.
“Australia Post directly employs 37,000 people from 137 nations and almost a quarter of our employees are from non-English speaking backgrounds,” said Mr Fahour.
“We recognise how migration has enriched Australian neighbourhoods and we’re proud of our connection with the AFL, who represent a sport that unites so many cultures under the one banner.
“What's more this year we are thrilled to be able to welcome more AFL Women's players to our ambassador program, advocating for and promoting the valuable role women play in sport, the broader workforce and community.
“We are immensely proud to be able to partner with some of the biggest names in the AFL to attract new individuals and communities to the game and promote the benefits of social inclusion and diversity within our neighbourhoods,” he said.