AFP and AFL celebrate a decade of footy bringing communities together

Today marks the 10th annual Unity Cup event – an initiative between the AFP and the AFL to strengthen engagement with the Melbourne communities through footy.

This year’s event will see more than 250 young people, from a range of varying cultures and backgrounds, brought together to compete in a “round-robin” competition over the course of the day. The event takes place each year at JJ Holland Park in Melbourne to coincide with the Kensington Community Festival.

AFP Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan highlighted this significant milestone as well as the importance of continually working to bridge gaps between police and the community.

“We’re extremely proud to have reached this 10-year milestone, and we believe the Unity Cup has helped foster greater understanding between all participants since the first ball was bounced in 2008,” Deputy Commissioner Phelan said.

“The objective of the day remains unchanged, with law enforcement seeking to build relationships with young people and demonstrating the human side of policing, while understanding some of the unique issues that our youth are facing.”

AFL Victoria Diversity Manager Xavier Moloney said the Unity Cup showcased everything that was great about Australian football.

“The Unity Cup is much more than just a football tournament. There may be a trophy up for grabs for the winning side, but this is a competition where participation is far more important than victory,” Mr Moloney said.

“To have so many people from diverse backgrounds embracing our game through this tournament over the past decade is something we are immensely proud of.

“Participating teams have been training for a number of weeks in the lead up to the event, so we’re encouraging everyone to come along and support their favourite team to ensure our 10th Unity Cup event is bigger and better than ever before.”

The event is proudly hosted by the AFP, the AFL Multicultural Program, and the Essendon Football Club and is proudly sponsored by Victoria State Government, Unison, City West Water and AFL/Australia Post Multicultural Programs.

The Unity Cup receives generous support from Brotherhood of St Laurence, Victoria Police, Hawthorn Football Club, St Kilda Football Club, Geelong Football Club, Werribee Football Club, North Melbourne Football Club, Richmond Football Club, Western Bulldogs Football Club, and The Korin Gamadji Institute.

The 10th annual Unity Cup kicks off today, with matches played from 9am. The official opening is from 10am and the final game scheduled for 3.30pm.


Media enquiries 

AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333

AFL Victoria: (03) 8341 6041

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

Policing and community news from the AFP