The AFL and AFL Players’ Association are pleased to announce the AFL/AFLPA Indigenous and Multicultural Player Summit will return in 2022 when the event commences in Geelong from Wednesday November 30 to Saturday December 3.

For the first time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural players from both AFL and AFLW will participate in the four-day program that focusses on celebrating and strengthening cultural identity.

Last held in Adelaide in 2019, the biennial event will provide players with a unique opportunity to connect through player-led cultural development sessions, football training and traditional activities with local communities.

In addition, the Summit offers a platform for players to discuss matters of importance to them and how the AFL and the AFLPA can work collaboratively to best support change across the industry that will impact positively on their experiences in the game, on and off field.

AFL Executive General Manager Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch said the return of the Summit provided an important forum to hear from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural players in the game.

“The AFL Players Summit has been the pinnacle of the AFL’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs for many years, and we’re delighted to be able to extend this opportunity to include AFLW players and players from Multicultural backgrounds for the first time,” Ms Hosch said.

“After postponing last year’s Summit due to the global pandemic, we’re looking forward to reconnecting with the players and key members of the football industry to understand how the AFL can improve the experience of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and culturally diverse footballers from across the game and the broader industry.

“We are here to listen and learn from the players so that the AFL can continue to do the important work on ensuring the game is more respectful and inclusive for all.”

Established in 1994, the AFL Players Summit was created to support the personal and professional development of elite level Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players.

In 2022, there are 10 per cent of AFL players and four per cent of AFLW players who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, while 14 per cent of AFL and seven per cent AFLW players come from culturally diverse backgrounds.

AFL Players Association General Manager – Player and Stakeholder Relations, Brett Murphy, said this year’s event is one players would benefit from attending.

“Our First Nations and Multicultural players make an enormous contribution to the game, and we are excited to bring both groups together to share their football experience,” Mr Murphy said. 

“The Summit comes at a critical time for the industry, and our commitment to ensuring a culturally safe environment for players of all backgrounds, and to a football environment which enables all players to thrive.”