The Australian Defence Force and Richmond Football Club have announced a five-year strategic partnership at an event at the Australian War Memorial.
The latest partnership formalises a long-standing collaboration between Richmond and the ADF, which has been running since 2012 for programs associated with Australian Defence Force Australian Rules (ADFAR) Association and Richmond’s Centre for Indigenous Leadership, the Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI).
ADFAR encourages and promotes Australian rules football among ADF members and provides the opportunity for service men and women to participate at all competition levels.
The programs include men's and women's interservice competition, best of ADF All Stars ANZAC cup competitions, Indigenous football development, and wheelchair ‘Aussie Rules’ for members undergoing rehabilitation and recovery from injury and illness.
Major General Rick Burr, AO, DSC, MVO said the partnership between the ADF and Richmond is "a natural alignment" of the two organisations shared value.
"The ADF encourages and promotes the sport of Aussie rules among our members regardless of gender, cultural background or physical ability," MAJGEN Burr said.
"There is a natural alignment between the Richmond Football Club and the ADF in the areas of youth mentoring, diversity and leadership, which means both organisations can focus on enhancing team skills, sense of identity and physical courage."
In its existing relationship, Richmond has supported the ADF’s Indigenous football team during the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholl’s Round. The team played a curtain-raiser game before the VFL’s Dreamtime match at the Swinburne Centre, Punt Road Oval.
The ADF engaged in cultural development through Richmond’s KGI, which aims to develop Australia's next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders. The ADF has also partnered with the KGI and participated in National Reconciliation Week events, and supported the KGI’s Dreamtime Career Expo.
Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said its partnership with the ADF is based on shared goals across both organisations.
"Through our collaboration with the Australian Defence Force, we have found a similar desire to ensure we’re attracting, developing and retaining talent throughout our respective industries," said at the partnership launch in Canberra," Gale said.
"Both the ADF and Richmond have strong commitments to ensuring that we harness the broadest talents and represent the diversity of our communities."