Webinar: All Eyes on the Ball: The Role of Sport in Integration

July 27, 2010

Whether on the field, in play or as enthusiastic supporters, team sports have a unique ability to rally the whole community behind local champions and celebrate the hero amongst us. Learn how sports participation inspires confidence and a sense of belonging in the individual team player, builds bridges across cultural differences, and contributes to community cohesion long after the winning goal has been scored.

Watch the Webinar Video


  • Download the Webinar Powerpoint slides (PDF)
  • Watch and listen to the Question and Answer (Q&A) with speakers, Dr. Arif Saeid, Community Services Manager, Refugees as Survivors – New Zealand, Dr. B Hass Dellal OAM, Executive Director, Australian Multicultural Foundation, Sash Herceg, Manager Community Programs, North Melbourne Football Club, The Huddle, and James Demetriou, Chair, Sports Without Borders (SWB).
  • Read the Post-webinar Q&A about integration and sport

Featured Good Ideas:

  • In Melbourne, Australia, the North Melbourne Football Club has found a home at the newly re-developed Arden Street Learning and Life Centre where education and sport work hand-in-hand to bring all of North Melbourne’s youth into the city mainstream and wider Victorian community. Watch the Video Presentation.


Dr. Arif Saeid
Community Services Manager, Refugees as Survivors – New Zealand

Arif served as a medical doctor in Afghanistan for Medecins Sans Frontieres and has led the Community Services Team and worked with RAS since June 2001. He identifies health and other special needs at the grassroots level within different refugee communities and initiates response. He works with refugee communities in employment, health and other initiatives which improve lives and advance resettlement.

He identifies sports as one of the areas to help refugee youth in integration and to overcome the resettlement challenges. In 2006 he initiated the Refugees In Sports Initiative and helped youths from refugee background to enroll with mainstream sports clubs specially soccer. Apart from soccer, the programme now facilitates refugee youth involvement in other sports such as cricket, tennis and martial arts.

Dr. B Hass Dellal OAM
Executive Director, Australian Multicultural Foundation

Dr Bulent (Hass) Dellal OAM was appointed Executive Director of the Australian Multicultural Foundation in 1989, an organisation established to promote a strong commitment to Australia as one people drawn from many cultures. Between 2002-2004 he was also appointed a part time Special Adviser for the Australasian Police Multicultural Advisory Bureau by the Conference of Commissioners of Police, Australasia and the South West Pacific Region.

He has also co-prepared and managed numerous research, reports and programs on community relations, social cohesion, cultural and religious diversity on behalf of Government and the private sector these include the Religion, Cultural Diversity and Safeguarding Australia report 2004, Scanlon Foundation report and Roundtable on Mapping Social Cohesion 2008, 2009/2010 the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century and the Lexicon of Terrorism for the Commonwealth government, Victorian Government and Victorian Police.

Sash Herceg
Manager Community Programs, North Melbourne Football Club, The Huddle

Sash was appointed to his role at the North Melbourne Football Club in October 2009, which coincided with the establishment of the Learning and Life Centre- The Huddle. Prior to this role, Sash worked for the Australian Football League (AFL) as a Multicultural Development Officer, and was based at Western Bulldogs Football Club. In the past few years he has worked with numerous migrant and refugee communities in Melbourne and regional Victoria and has considerable experience promoting sport as a tool of integration.
Sash migrated to Australia with his family as a refugee in 1996 from Croatia and has experienced first hand how sport, in particular Australian Football, can play a positive role in resettlement. In 2009 he was added to the Victorian Refugee Recognition Record for his work with migrants and refugees in the Western suburbs of Melbourne.

James Demetriou
Chair, Sports Without Borders (SWB)

James is the Chair of Sports Without Borders (SWB), a non for profit organisation auspiced by The Australian Multicultural Foundation trust, that he co-founded in 2006 with his son Tom Demetriou. SWB connects newly arrived Australians through sport. He was heavily involved with the AFL’s peace team, a collaborative project between The Peres Centre for Peace and the AFL, aimed at uniting young Palestinians and Israeli’s on the sports field.
He is also the former Executive officer of the North Melbourne Learning and Life Centre at Arden Street, a project connected to the North Melbourne football club, which promotes education, health, life learning and sport as a means to enhance community spirit and social cohesion. He was the former Managing Director of The Acquis group which provides corporate strategy and M and A advice to large SME’s seeking to grow.


View allView all Past webinars »