PORT ADELAIDE today launched a significant program at Old Parliament House, designed to support Chinese students in Adelaide in the year of the club’s 150th anniversary.

Under this program, local businesses will sponsor Chinese students to be members of Port Adelaide Football Club, and attend matches during this, its 150th anniversary season.

The Novel Coronavirus – 2019-nCoV – has made the already complex connection for international students in Australia, more challenging. It has also had a significant impact on the international education sector in South Australia.  

Port Adelaide, led by CEO Keith Thomas, launched this program with South Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon David Ridgway.

“We have, like most Australian businesses active in China, been commercially impacted by 2019-nCoV ,” said Mr Thomas.

“But our long-standing engagement in China has been so positive for our Club, and in these moments, it is critical that we think of the human, as well as commercial strain.”

“And when I think of Chinese students, who entrusted South Australia as its education institutions with their future, we want to stand beside them in this important moment.”

Minister Ridgway spoke at the event, highlighting the value of the international student community to South Australia.

“International education plays a critical role in South Australia’s economy, it attracts new students, new industries, and new investors to our state, and provides valuable opportunities for cultural exchange and integration.

“I congratulate Port Adelaide for this wonderful program and for partnering with The University of Adelaide to promote this important cross cultural exchange,” said Minister Ridgway.

Local businesses that have agreed to support this program include AR International, PwC, JOID Consulting, Leaders Education and Migration, Norman Waterhouse, and Balabala Laser Clinic.

"The strong alignment between PAFC and PwC Adelaide stems from what we have, what we share, and what we value in common. Diversity brings innovation, agility, growth and success both on the football field and in business.

“This initiative aligns with our motivation to solve important problems and provide confidence to local businesses and the community,” said Marcus Lojszczyk, Partner at PwC.

This program builds on Port Adelaide’s longstanding in international sector.

Port Adelaide has been inviting fifty Chinese students to each home match over the past five years. It has partnered with The University of Adelaide for the past three years, and has a five-year agreement in place with Jincheng Group, to encourage student flows to South Australia.

“This is the right program, at the right moment. We are proud to stand alongside our Chinese friends in this challenging time. We empathise with Chinese students who had had their lives and studies disrupted by Novel Coronavirus. And we understand the importance of international education to the South Australian economy,” Mr Thomas said.

This event forms part of a significant week for Port Adelaide, following the launch of its JMS with SAIC’s MG brand, and prior to the 150th anniversary gala dinner.