Australian Football League helping to build up young leaders

8 December 2014

Today I am announcing that the Australian Government is providing $200,000 to the Australian Football League to expand its work with young multicultural leaders.

The AFL will be expanding the Bachar Houli Academy, which was founded by the AFL player and Multicultural Ambassador, Bachar Houli. The academy uses football to build trust, openness and a sense of belonging for young people and their communities.

The purpose of the academy is to inspire a new generation of Muslim leaders by helping young men to achieve their goal of playing in the AFL. This funding continues the Australian Government's many years of support for the AFL and its valuable work to promote multiculturalism.

Sport has the power to inspire and unite people. Initiatives such as the Bachar Houli academy help us to celebrate our diversity, and celebrate those who achieve great things. During AFL Grand-Final Week this year, I was honoured to award the inaugural Bachar Houli Academy medal to Hisham Kerbatieh. I look forward to seeing more young leaders follow in his footsteps.

Governments, community groups and individuals all need to work together to empower young Australians, including those affected by violent extremism.

Over the coming weeks, the Australian Government will be inviting community groups to participate in the creation of a directory of support services.

The directory will include services such as mentoring and coaching, counselling, education and employment support, and other services that could help individuals to turn away from ideologies of violence and hate.

These new initiatives are a significant step forward in achieving the Government's goal of working together to make Australia an even better, safer place to live.