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Rio Tinto to partner AFL indigenous programs
The AFL has announced that mining company Rio Tinto will be the principal partner of its Indigenous Programs for the next four years.
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan outlined the partnership to include naming rights for the Flying Boomerangs and Woomeras programs on top of Rio Tinto's existing relationship with the AFL Footy Means Business program.
McLachlan stated “Rio Tinto's relationship with the AFL started six years ago when it came on board to support Footy Means Business, a program aimed to provide high-performance and employment opportunities for young Indigenous men
“It is great that a partner like Rio Tinto is going to extend its partnership to support AFL programs for both male and females of all ages at grassroots levels in indigenous communities, whilst also providing opportunities in education and employment.
“We thank Rio Tinto for its support of our indigenous programs as we continue to provide the best possible opportunities for indigenous Australians through football.”
Rio Tinto Chief Executive Iron Ore and Australia Andrew Harding commented “Rio Tinto is proud to support the AFL's highly successful indigenous programs and encourage young Aboriginal men and women to achieve success in education, business, community life and sport.
“This is part of our commitment to supporting our local communities in Australia.
“Rio Tinto is working in partnership with the AFL and indigenous communities to achieve positive social outcomes through leadership development, education, employment and training. The AFL indigenous programs will help young indigenous people from our local mining communities to gain valuable work and life experiences to assist their career development.
“We want to support the on and off field aspirations of young and talented Indigenous men and women from around the country and to help them to realise their potential. We want to help our indigenous sports stars strive for success in the classroom, in their communities and in business.”
Harding said he was looking forward to the creation of a female AFL competition in 2017.
He added “not only are we keen to support young indigenous people in our businesses, but we also want to support the creation and success of the female AFL competition at the same time as nurturing outstanding talent in the men's game.”
Image: Rio Tinto Chief Executive Andrew Harding and AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan at the announcement of the partnership. Courtesy: AFL Media
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