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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

George Lekakis on the relation between multiculturalism and Australian Rules football

George Lekakis.

Victorian Multicultural Commission chair George Lekakis describes the relation between multiculturalism and Australian Rules football



Date Added:

09 March 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

4.6 MB






I recently worked with Andrew Dimitri, to organise a multicultural footy program and we tailored a submission that the government funded for $400,000. So kids can – through a multicultural football program can become and avail themselves to Australian rules, but also feel that – because it’s not just about the sport, it’s part of the iconic Australian culture. And talking about cultural values, football is huge. Now if you have an entry point for a kid who’s over – from overseas, to actually feel the sharing, the bounce it on the street, I mean I remember bouncing the ball down Albion Street, Brunswick.


I saw the same thing at South Road with a Sudanese boy, with the ripples on his – bouncing the ball up South Road and I remembered that so, the major cultural icon in Victoria, one of them is the footy and getting a footy establishment to look after refugees and kids from other backgrounds, to bring them to the footy ground, to put it in the footy record that they’re doing that, that’s - that creates a whole lot of goodwill and breaks down barriers straight away. And if a kid can play football from those backgrounds in the future, well, sports stars have a seamless transition into the big world regardless of their nationality, if they’re good at their sport. So we’re hopeful that that will happen.


End transcript