Fremantle Dockers AFL Women's player Akec Makur Susan Chuot and West Coast's Nic Naitanui have been named Australia Post AFL Multicultural Ambassadors for 2017.
The two footballers were among six WA products also named in the group of 19 AFL and AFLW players.
Other players named include Stephen Coniglio (GWS Giants - Swan Districts FC), Aliir Aliir (Sydney - East Fremantle FC), Jason Johannisen (Western Bulldogs - East Fremantle FC) and Sabrina Frederick-Traub (Brisbane Lions - South Fremantle WFC).
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the ambassadors played an important role in promoting diversity and inclusion within Australian Football and the broader community.
“The Ambassadors represent 12 AFL Clubs, four AFLW Clubs, and a wide range of diverse communities throughout Australia,” McLachlan said.
“They will play a crucial role in increasing cultural awareness, promoting inclusion and encouraging participation at all levels of Australian Football.
Akec Makur (Susan) Chuot, born in South Sudan, will support the AFL’s female multicultural talent strategy through development programs and will also make key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.
Nic Naitanui, born to Fijian parents, works one day per week at the WA Football Commission (WAFC) supporting the ongoing development of the West Australian multicultural strategy and the Naitanui Talent Academy.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said an increase in the number of female ambassadors reflects the growing prominence of NAB AFL's Women's and the commitment the AFL has made to build the foundations of women’s football.
“It’s a historic year in our game. In addition to the launch of AFLW, we are also taking a Toyota AFL Premiership Season match to China in Round 8. The landscape of football is changing and the ambassadors reflect that,” he said.
In 2017, multicultural players make up 15 per cent of the AFL player lists across the 18 AFL Clubs and 7.8 per cent across the eight NAB AFL Women’s clubs.
The Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors will be at the forefront of AFL Multicultural Round to be held this year in Round 19 of the 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
With the support of Australia Post, the Round will continue to celebrate the many cultures that live within Australian Football and will highlight the community engagement initiatives being undertaken by the ambassadors and the entire Australian Football industry.
Australia Post Managing Director & Group CEO, Ahmed Fahour, said Australia Post’s ongoing commitment to celebrating diversity is a vision they share with the AFL.
“Australia Post directly employs 37,000 people from 137 nations and almost a quarter of our employees are from non-English speaking backgrounds,” said Mr Fahour.
“We recognise how migration has enriched Australian neighbourhoods and we’re proud of our connection with the AFL, who represent a sport that unites so many cultures under the one banner. “What's more this year we are thrilled to be able to welcome more AFL Women's players to our ambassador program, advocating for and promoting the valuable role women play in sport, the broader workforce and community.
“We are immensely proud to be able to partner with some of the biggest names in the AFL to attract new individuals and communities to the game and promote the benefits of social inclusion and diversity within our neighbourhoods,” he said.