The Western Bulldogs have today welcomed the Federal Government’s budget commitment of $15 million to enable the Club to deliver its full vision for the redevelopment of its Victoria University Whitten Oval home.

The Federal commitment will not only contribute to extending a new Western Bulldogs Community Foundation Centre, but will also help establish a Women’s Health and Leadership Hub which will become a centre of excellence for the delivery of partnered programs for girls and women throughout western Victoria and beyond.

Both facilities will complement Stage 2 of the Club’s wider redevelopment project which commenced construction earlier this month. 

Western Bulldogs President Kylie Watson-Wheeler thanked the Federal Government for supporting the Club’s vision to develop a home for the whole of the community. 

“We’re incredibly grateful to the Federal Government for their commitment to Melbourne’s west as part of last night’s budget announcement,” she said.

“Our vision, now and into the future, is for VU Whitten Oval to be a place for the community to call home, alleviating social isolation, enhancing connectivity and promoting health and wellbeing.”

Western Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains said the budget commitment was a strong endorsement of the genuine impact the Club makes in the community. 

“Our Whitten Oval precinct redevelopment is one of the more ambitious undertakings by an AFL club, and we’re extremely appreciative of the Federal Government for their support of our community ambitions,” he said.

“This important investment ensures we can deliver on the full potential of the precinct, helping bring people together to access social programs and services which can have a real and meaningful impact on the lives of people living in our backyard and beyond.

“As one of the AFLW’s inaugural clubs with such strong female representation across every layer of our business, including at Board level, we’re excited to be investing further into developing programs which break down barriers of disadvantage, and creating pathways into education and increased participation.  

The Federal Government’s $15 million commitment into the project brings the full cost of Stage 2 works to $73.9m and complements existing support from the Club, the AFL and the Victorian Government. 

The investment will help create an extended permanent home for the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation within a redeveloped John Gent Stand to incorporate facilities and services which expand the Club and Foundation’s community reach, with a focus on health, education, cultural diversity and youth leadership programs.