MORE than 370 South Australian students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will come together today to celebrate the vibrancy of our community through a very Aussie pastime – football.

The students, from 13 schools across the state, will gather at Karen Rolton Oval to take part in a football carnival with a difference - the Port Adelaide Football Club’s annual Power Intercultural Program Carnival.

The Power Intercultural Program (PIP) is an education-focussed program run by Port Adelaide’s community arm Power Community Limited for students in years 10 and 11 from schools with large multicultural populations.

Throughout terms one and two of the school year, students explore their own culture, Indigenous cultures and other cultures within their school community to develop an understanding of the differences and similarities. 

Current and past Port Adelaide Football Club players and female role models are involved in delivering the program, which is designed to celebrate the vibrancy of cultural diversity and expression, and promote inclusion and social cohesion by recognising the positive contribution of different cultures within Australia. 

Students receive credits towards their South Australian Certificate of Education for their participation, and to reward them for their work, they get to celebrate with a nine-a-side football carnival, held this week in the lead-up to Refugee Week.

2022 is the first year where all PIP assessments are completed online – the first online learning platform for SACE credits created by an AFL club. Every school involved has a unique login and students complete their assignments and submit their work online.

“It has been a big year for our Power Intercultural Program with the transition to an online learning platform, which represents a big change but an important one as we look build on the growth of the program since its inception in 2017,” said General Manager – Power Community Limited, Jake Battifuoco.

“We are extremely proud that our program engages more than 200 ethnic groups, enabling them to realise and celebrate the value of multiculturalism within our community and promote harmony and togetherness.

“It is always special to see the participants learn the rules and skills of Australian Rules Football, allowing new arrivals and those who may not be as familiar with the game to feel more comfortable in being involved with something that is uniquely Australian.” 

The best performed schools will play off in the carnival’s Grand Final, to be played as a curtain-raiser to Saturday’s AFL clash between Port Adelaide and Sydney at Adelaide Oval, while the other students who have participated in the program will also be present to take part in a parade of cultures and take in the AFL game – for some their first experience of Australian Rules Football.

As well as the football tournament, students are also invited to a leadership program and family event.

One of the activities during the program is for students to design their own guernseys to best represent the different cultures at their schools and explain their designs, with each school picking a winning design to wear at the carnival. As a proud partner of the program and club joint major partner, GFG’s logo features on all of the designs.

GFG will join the students at the carnival this week. The organisation will also be at the associated Careers Expo to support students as they prepare for further education and opportunities post their schooling.

“At GFG we are committed to helping create strong communities and the Port Intercultural Program is doing just that by inspiring students from different cultures, religions and backgrounds to come together, learn more about each other and celebrate how our differences and similarities make us stronger together,” said GFG Head of Government and External Affairs, Mark Scholem.

“We are proud to be involved in this program, which has a real impact on the participants and drives positive social impacts around the benefits of cultural diversity.”

The Power Intercultural Program is a partnership between the Port Adelaide Football Club, the Commonwealth Government Department of Home Affairs, the South Australian Education Department, GFG and OTR.