Diversity exhibition is kicking goals

Jason Johannisen.

Stories from Indigenous AFL stars Buddy Franklin, Jeffrey Garlett, Neville Jetta and Tristan Tweedie feature in an exhibition on the impact of the AFL and the Western Bulldogs Football Club on the lives of Australians.

‘Game Changers: Diversity in Football’ is on show at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne until October 15 and depicts how cultural and gender diversity are changing the world of football, and how the game is changing lives.

The exhibition also focuses on the stories of two Western Bulldogs players: Lin Jong, the first Australian of East Timorese and Taiwanese descent to play in the AFL, and South African-born Jason Johannisen.

Personal items from the players’ early years, treasured jumpers and awards, including Johannisen’s 2016 AFL Premiership and Norm Smith medal, are displayed alongside photographs and videos of the changing faces of the AFL.

Chief executive officer of Museums Victoria, Lynley Marshall, said the exhibition was an opportunity for footy-loving Victorians to enjoy the game in a different way.

“Game Changers: Diversity in Football showcases how AFL has changed and enabled players from different cultures, faiths and genders to shape the game and become Australian heroes,” Ms Marshall said.

“The Immigration Museum is proud to provide a platform for the growing voices of players from a range of backgrounds and we are delighted to have AFL rolemodels sharing their memorabilia and stories of inclusion.”

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