As of 2015, 30% of Australian residents were born overseas. Australia has a progressive immigration policy that welcomes of refugees and migrants; however, youth from migrant, indigenous and disadvantaged backgrounds struggle to achieve their potential within Australia’s educational system. With a large percentage of foreigners, social integration can be difficult, but the process is being catalysed through sport.
Football United aims to build opportunities for culturally- and linguistically-diverse and disadvantaged (CALD) youth and their communities. Through football activities, tournaments, and leadership development and skills courses, the Football United programme uses sport as an effective tool to reduce the development gap with CALD youth. The programme works in a number of Intestive English Centres (IECs) within secondary schools throughout western Sydney, where many migrant families are located.
So far, Football United has had over 6,500 graduates from over 56 different cultural backgrounds.