Seagulls launch Inclusion Plan
Williamstown Football Club has confirmed its commitment to celebrating diversity and promoting inclusiveness by launching its 2021 Inclusion Plan.
As a leader in the Hobson’s Bay community, Williamstown Football Club formalised this plan throughout the 2020 COVID period to reflect our commitment to education and change in the areas of:
- Multicultural and Indigenous
- Community Engagement
- Game Development
The Club will continue to use its home game events to theme our popular President’s Lunches and undertake promotional activities to highlight these four pillars, which are underpinned by the Club’s values of Respect and Inclusive.
Multicultural and Indigenous
On Saturday 5th June, our Club will celebrate the first ever VFL Indigenous Round, which we have championed the AFL for. A recognition of past Indigenous Seagull players will feature in the lead up to our home game activities, culminating in both our teams wearing an Indigenous guernsey that has been designed and approved by our Club’s Indigenous players.
Advancement of Women
Williamstown Football Club is proud of the strong female participation at the Club; we have led the way with the most gender-balanced board in the competition which includes key Directors Merryl Dooley, Emma Woolley, Sara Borowiak and Mel Backhouse.
At a management level, we have a full time VFLW Football Manager in Claudia Davey and VFLW coach in Penny Cula-Reid – who is supported by development coach Jasmine Kawa and assistant coaches Jules Hay and Cassandra Brooks.
And of course, in 2018, we were the first stand alone VFL Club granted a licence to enter a State League Women’s team into the VFLW competition.
We will once again be hosting our traditional Pride Game Event on the weekend of Saturday May 8, with our teams wearing our now well-recognised rainbow sash guernsey.
An ‘Inclusive of people of all abilities’ theme will be the focus at Downer Oval on Saturday July 10, which will feature a Football Integration Development Association (FIDA) match as a curtain raiser to our VFL game.
CEO Jason Reddick has been involved through the Hobsons Bay Community Fund in a research program conducted by Melbourne University, exploring the opportunities for all sporting clubs to more inclusive of people of varying disabilities.
Community Engagement (cont.)
Our Club continues to actively support the Hobsons Bay Community Fund, whose four strategic goals for 2021 are:
1. Mental health of our young people
2. Family violence and its impact on women
3. Building and enabling digital literacy for our older people
4. Helping unemployed people in their job seeking endeavours
Williamstown Football Club will continue its long connection with local charity partner the Les Twentyman Foundation and its Engage program run by Jim Markovski which provides support and a pathway to at-risk youth in the western suburbs of Melbourne. In 2021, the Club will support those youth with an interest in hospitality, providing them the opportunity to work within our canteen on match days and Seaview Events Centre to assist them in their career path into that industry.
Club CEO Jason Reddick is a member of the Hobsons Bay Communities That Care program which delivers several youth-focused services with measurable outcomes. The strategic goal is to positively change behavioural outcomes that will reduce adolescent alcohol use and decrease depressive symptomatology in our local community youth.
Williamstown’s community-focused Accelerated Football Program has been running at Williamstown High School and Bayside College’s Year 7-9 male and female students since 2018 and will continue in 2021.
This year, VFLW premiership-winning coach Penny Cula-Reid will join Club Community Manager Andy Dandridge and several VFL and VFLW players in delivering the program at the brand new, recently developed Bayside College Williamstown campus ovals.
Our Club continues to invest in the development of youth and football in the west, and we are currently exploring the educational sessions for local community coaches and administrators to assist them and their players in their pathway into elite football.
Williamstown Football Club is committed to supporting Indigenous and Multicultural programs in the community, creating greater opportunities for women and developing pathways for female players and staff, empowering people of all abilities through employment opportunities, making everyone feel safe and welcome in our community and supporting and developing grassroots football in our community.
Click here to view our Inclusion Plan.
If you haven’t already, stand Together with us in 2021 and sign up as a member today! Call us on (03) 9391 0309 or CLICK HERE to purchase you and your family a membership and experience the thrill and excitement of Williamstown match days.