West Coast Eagles held a partnership launch with the United Nations Association of Australia WA Division (UNAAWA) last night, with the Club collaborating with UNAAWA to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through sport.

Panellists were invited to speak on these goals, including, but not limited to:

  • SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 5 – Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 – Climate Action

This included reigning West Coast best and fairest winner Nic Naitanui, Harvard alumna and President of UNAAWA Dr Sandy Chong, Sophia Nimphius, Professor of Human Performance at ECU, Dr Alec O’Connell, Headmaster of Scotch College and AFLW pioneer Michelle Cowan.

The evening was also established with an opening address from Eagles' Chairman Russell Gibbs, who explained how intrinsic community values are to the West Coast Football Club.

Hon Dr Tony Buti, the Minister for Finance, Lands, Sport and Recreation, Citizenship and Multicultural Interests was in attendance, saying the newfound partnership has provided ‘great pride’ to West Australia and its people.

“We have great pride that we have the United Nations Association involved in sport and the promotion of UN goals in West Australia with a great club like the West Coast Eagles,” Hon Dr Tony Buti said of the new partnership.

“West Coast Eagles is one of the great institutions, one of the great clubs of West Australia and Australia, so to have the backing of the West Coast Eagles, that brand is unbelievable and it’s going to be a great impetus to try and ensure these goals are achieved by West Australians.”

“I think (this) should warm everyone’s heart, that you want to be more than just an elite sporting organisation, you want to also go to the community level.

“I know how important sport is to my local community. So that’s why this association with the West Coast Eagles is incredibly important.”

Dr Sandy Chong was also pleased to announce the partnership with UNAAWA and the West Coast Eagles, given that it is the first of its kind in Australia.

“This is the first UN Association and sporting organisation partnership in Australia – it’s not just the first in AFL, it’s the first in sporting organisation here in Australia,” Dr Sandy Chong said.

“There are so many things that the West Coast Eagles are already doing, bridging the gaps by allowing and enabling kids to do sports, enabling women to play into AFL.

“Even just this beautiful ground we are standing on (Mineral Resources Park). It has recycling considerations, it works very well locally with the Town of Vic Park.

“So all of these partnerships could really help raise awareness of good health and well-being, but also sports and environment, and also reducing inequality.

“So it is a brilliant initiative and this has been three years in the making, this partnership.

“So we really look forward to making some really good, positive impact with West Coast Eagles.”

Naitanui is also excited to be a part of this journey – given his community work over the past decade.

“Empathy is a big one for me. With football in particular, it provides and caters for all types, and for me I’ve worked with children from all over the globe,” he said.

“I’ve taken football to Kenya, to Israel, I’ve taken it to the South Pacific where I’m from as well, and it’s funny how a weird shaped ball can connect so many communities.

“It’s awesome to be a part of.”


* Photo credit: Cloud9Projects - Cloud9Projects is a local non-profit group that fosters creative thinking and social engagement between people and communities