The Western Bulldogs Ballarat office has joined forces with Grampians Health on a potential partnership relating to its international nurse recruitment program.
Since an initial approach from Grampians Health, the Western Bulldogs provided tickets to international employees and their families to attend the Round 20 AFL game at Mars Stadium in Ballarat, to watch the Western Bulldogs take on GWS.
Grampians Health provided lunch prior to the match, and the children who attended were also provided with Bulldogs prize packs and proudly donned their Ballarat Bulldogs beanies during the match.
The Bulldogs also provided tickets to Grampians Health for the Round 23 AFL game at Marvel Stadium against West Coast Eagles.
“It has been a wonderful opportunity for us to connect them as a group. The football has been such a useful tool to bring together a group of people from such diverse backgrounds,” said Vicki Dekker, Workforce Community Navigator at Grampians Health.
“I had comments at the Ballarat game that they had come to Ballarat knowing no-one, and this gave them the opportunity to connect to others in similar circumstances.
“And whilst we keep them connected through Facebook groups, emails and orientation, this was the first time they were given the opportunity to meet collectively.”
For most of the international employees, AFL is a foreign concept. However, since the first game in Ballarat in July, Grampians Health had people return to watch the game at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne in August, along with the Bulldogs’ AFLW game in September.
“This has been a wonderful way to connect these families together,” said Ballarat Engagement Manager Campbell Waring.
“Football is a great way to connect people, and by showcasing the AFL to these local families, and in turn the Bulldogs’ connection to Ballarat, it will be great if we end up with some red, white and blue supporters in the future. I loved seeing the Bulldogs Ballarat beanies being worn on match-day.”
The Club is investigating the possibility of formalising an Introduction to Football program through the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation, which will extend the families’ knowledge of AFL.