Media Release: Grand Final gesture a mark of cultural unity
Release Date: Sunday, April 11 2010, 12:00 AM
This is a joint AFP, Essendon and North Melbourne media release.
The two grand final teams in today’s Unity Cup AFL tournament will run onto the field through the same banner, symbolising the cultural respect upon which the annual family day has been built.
A partnership of the Australian Federal Police, with the Essendon and North Melbourne AFL football clubs, the third Unity Cup Family Day will be staged at Essendon’s Windy Hill Oval today from 10am.
The Islamic Information Services Network of Australasia (IISNA), the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), Newport Islamic Society and Flemington Eritrean Community will compete in a round-robin AFL tournament for the Unity Cup, with each team complemented by members of the Bombers, Roos, the AFP and Victoria Police.
AFP Commissioner Tony Negus will make the opening address at the Unity Cup Family Day, an event designed to unite Melbourne’s culturally diverse communities and to consolidate a trusted relationship with law enforcement.
“This event helps to celebrate our nation’s culturally diverse communities through that great Australian leveller – sport,” Commissioner Negus said.
“While still in its infancy, the event has grown significantly over the past three years and its success is largely the result of community support. The AFP is committed to working as part of the community to address cultural, racial and religious intolerance.”
Essendon Football Club was a 2008 founding partner of the Unity Cup, expanded this year with added support from the North Melbourne Football Club.
Essendon’s General Manager of Media and Community, Simon Matthews, said the AFL had a responsibility to the broader community and an important role to play in the promotion of social cohesion.
“It is very easy to say the right things, but events such as this are a living example of turning words into actions. This club aspires to act in a way that helps create genuine change,” Mr Matthews said.
“We would like to thank the AFP for originally sharing our vision and congratulate North Melbourne for assisting us in growing the Unity Cup concept.”
The Unity Cup Family Day will include activities for all, with Bombers and Kangaroos players available to sign autographs and conduct Auskick junior clinics. Other highlights will be AFP demonstrations, a free sausage sizzle, jumping castles and face painting.
Unity Cup Media Opportunities
10.45am – Matches begin in the Unity Cup AFL tournament.
12.05pm – AFP Commissioner Tony Negus, and Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Brendan O’Connor, will conduct the opening address.
1.20pm – Children’s Auskick games and drills.
1.55pm – Call to prayer for Muslim attendees, taking place on Windy Hill Oval.
3.50pm – Unity Cup Grand Final, with both teams to run through the same banner onto the field.
4.20pm – Unity Cup Grand Final presentations.
AFP Media (Canberra): (02) 6275 7100