St Kilda have combined forces with AFL Victoria to launch an exciting new two-year strategy aimed at increasing multicultural education and access to Australian-rules football within the Dandenong area.

The strategy aims to grow participation and community engagement within the region as a part of an overarching All-Nations program.

St Kilda’s Head of Community Football Pathways and Partnerships Gerard Jess said that the strategy is important to ensuring the growth of footy within the Dandenong region. 

“We are really excited to implement this strategy which will see children of all ages and backgrounds come together and celebrate this great game of ours,” Jess said. 

“We know the area of Dandenong is the most culturally diverse community in Australia, with either children themselves or their parents being born overseas, so they may not have grown up with Aussie rules footy.

“This strategy will allow us to introduce the sport in a fun, educational way that will hopefully encourage further participation in these programs.

“The support of AFL Victoria has been instrumental in the development of this strategy and we are looking forward to working with them over the coming years.

“We’ve also been incredibly lucky to have the support of Moorabbin Airport, who share our vision for increasing diversity and multiculturalism in football.”

Kayla Bannister from AFL Victoria said the strategy aims to achieve deeper community engagement through tailored football offerings that meet the needs of the community.

"This partnership and strategy is extremely important, as each party brings something different to the table, which will add significant value to what we're trying to achieve in the City of Greater Dandenong," Ms Bannister said.

"This is a long-term strategy, but in two years we would hope to have made good progress by achieving greater community engagement, exposure and ultimately see an increase in people from the community playing or engaging with football.

"We want to see footballs in the hands of students all across schools and a substantial football pathway across our clubs - we want to embed AFL into the community and we will be doing everything we can to achieve that."

There are several elements to the strategy including clinics, modified Auskick programs and round-robin competitions which will feature across the next two years.

There will also be traineeship and scholarship opportunities available to ensure pathways for community clubs and schools within the Dandenong area.