During May, the Power Community team including Ross Wait, Jake Battifuoco, Alipate (Bobby) Carlile and Will Northeast travelled to Penang, Malaysia to deliver the Power to be Positive program.

The program was delivered at three International schools with expat Australian students. In school, the team facilitated classroom activities on topics including fixed versus growth mindsets, mindfulness, gratitude and goal setting whilst also teaching the kids Australian Rules Football with a fun interactive clinic.

The team also delivered a resilience workshop and a Personal Training/Aussie Rules session for 120 soldiers on the RMAF Butterworth base. These soldiers had a three-month posting to Malaysia and were finding it extremely difficult during their jungle warfare training. They enjoyed experiencing AFL and having a taste of Australia with a kick and catch of the Sherrins. Bobby’s one-liners about his AFL career stole the show!

Some of the soldiers commented that in the three months they were in Malaysia, this was the best experience that they had had. The team were able to provide the soldiers Power singlets as incentives as well as some footballs to keep on base to have a kick around.

On the final night in Penang, staff held a family event for all Australian families, which included a kick and catch and a BBQ. The families loved the opportunity to meet other families that were posted over there. The gratitude shown by the ADF to the PAFC staff was incredible, and will go a long way to continuing to build the club’s relationship with the defence industry - one that as a club we are proud to have had for a long time.

This relationship stems back many years with many past PAFC players having served in the ADF, none more recognized than Bob Quinn, who won a military medal for his bravery on the battlefields as well as two Magarey Medals for his feats on the football field.

The trip was a great success and the Power to be Positive program will now be closed out on June 12th with an event at Alberton Oval for more than 150 ADF school students in years 5-12 from across 17 schools in South Australia.

Here are a few testimonials from the trip:

“When my daughter left there today, she said ‘Mum it reminded me of being back home. It made me so happy.’” – Stacey

“When I picked my daughter up from School that day, the first words out of here mouth were, ‘I love AFL!’ And I felt like I was back home in Australia. She loves living here but still misses home and her cousins. It touched me hearing her say that. I asked her why and she said ‘Because the boys were playing footy with us and teaching us how to eat healthy, plus they spoke Australian!’ I love all sports especially NRL and I know for a fact that my daughter had no idea what AFL was prior to you guys coming over. You guys should be all proud of yourselves to know just how happy you can make kids living in a different country feel. I can’t wait for you all to come back soon.” – Chris Salmon

A huge thank you must go to the Department of Defence for its ongoing support through the Defence Community Organisation, which continues to support ADF families across the world.