AFL NSW/ACT and the GIANTS welcome new Australian citizens

It was a bigger than usual day out west at Spotless Stadium last Sunday.

By Caitlin Arnold

Not only did the GIANTS host the Western Bulldogs in a clash of two genuine top four contenders, but an Australian Citizenship Ceremony also took place within the Stadium – perhaps to a little less fanfare – but with just as much excitement surrounding.

AFL NSW/ACT and the GIANTS hosted the ceremony in conjunction with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to help welcome Australia’s newest citizens, and the GIANTS’ freshest fans.

Involving 21 people from seven different countries such as Iran, Papua New Guinea, and Nigeria, the ceremony saw each attendee recite the Australian Citizenship Affirmation, affirming their loyalty and commitment to Australia and its people with the green of the Spotless Stadium grass in the background.

In attendance were Uncle Ray Davison who conducted the welcome to country,  AFL NSW/ACT CEO Sam Graham, GIANTS Chief Operating Officer Richard Griffiths, and GIANTS Chairman, Tony Shepherd who spoke passionately about why hosting such a ceremony was important for not only the Club, but for Western Sydney as a whole.

Also present was Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Craig Laundy who explained the significance of combining cultures within Australia’s multicultural society, and the positives which stem from welcoming those of all backgrounds into our backyard.

AFL NSW/ACT Multicultural Programs Manager, Nickie Flambouras says it is events such as these which provide those involved with an experience that is truly Australian.

“We host these ceremonies for several reasons. To engage with our communities, to connect with new migrants and refugees, and to share the love of our game.

“It is a great way to gain people of diverse backgrounds as fans and participants.

“It is our way of saying thanks to people for becoming Australians Citizens, and for the contribution they make to our country. As a code and as a Club, we value and embrace everything multicultural.”

With the final siren of the curtain raiser NEAFL match between the GIANTS and the Brisbane Lions sounding during the induction of these new Australian citizens, it was clear that a more Australian scene could not have been scripted.

AFL NSW/ACT and the GIANTS welcome these families to our country, and wish them all the best in their journey as Australians.

The GIANTS will be hosting a free AFL Multicultural Festival on Saturday, 9 July at Cathy Freeman Park prior to the GIANTS vs. Collingwood Multicultural Round match at Spotless Stadium.