Collingwood joins the AFL community this week in celebrating Multicultural Round, embracing the stories and cultures that comprise the rich tapestry of Australia’s game.

The weekend’s focus will be on the MCG, where Collingwood and Carlton will join forces to stage the Multicultural Festival in Yarra Park.

Commencing at 11.30am, the Festival will give fans the opportunity to explore many wonderful cultures with traditional dance performances from around the world, a great selection of delicious multicultural food or a chance for kids to practice their goal kicking at the AFL playground.

There will also be a range of live entertainment, including Pop Asia, Hip Hop dancer, African drummers, Bollywood and many others.

AFL Multicultural Festival
Date: Saturday 8 August 2015
Time: 11:30am – 5:30pm
Venue: Yarra Park, MCG (outside Gate 3)
Curtain Raiser: Collingwood v Northern Blues, VFL, 10.20am
Senior Match: Collingwood v Carlton, AFL, 1.45pm

The Magpies boast a proud multicultural heritage, with four former players featuring in the AFL’s Multicultural Team of the Century; Peter Daicos, Saverio Rocca, Charles H. Pannam and Dermott Brereton, who spent a single season at the club in 1995, while Jock McHale was appointed its coach.

A two-time Copeland Trophy winner, Daicos would become affectionately known as the ‘Macedonian Marvel’ in a nod to his European heritage, playing 250 games across a 15-year Collingwood career.

Also named to the AFL’s Italian Team of the Century as a full-forward, Rocca established himself as a favourite of the Magpie faithful during his nine years in Black and White, booting 514 goals to sit fifth on Collingwood’s all-time goal kickers list.

Though perhaps better known by the wider football community as the grandfather of Lou Richards; Pannam – shortened from Pannamopolous - was a Collingwood legend in his own right.

A two-time Premiership player, Pannam was the first VFL player to reach the 100-game milestone, led the competition’s goalkicking while Collingwood captain in 1905, and was among the inaugural inductees to the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

McHale, meanwhile, needs little introduction.

The most prolific coach in VFL/AFL history, McHale, the son of an Irish migrant, was at the helm of the Magpies for 38 seasons, leading Collingwood to eight flags from led Collingwood to eight flags from 17 Grand Final appearances.

Holder of the VFL/AFL record for most games coached with 713, McHale has been anointed with legend status in the Australian Football Hall of Fame, while his name has been further immortalised in the establishment of the Jock McHale Medal, awarded to the premiership coach since 2001.

The AFL Multicultural Round will highlight the community engagement initiatives currently being undertaken by the Australian football industry, as well as the many players from culturally diverse backgrounds, who make up 15 per cent of the AFL player list.

Since it started in 2005, the AFL Multicultural Program has ensured that more than 150,000 people from migrant families have experienced AFL games and come into contact with their own local football communities.

AFL Multicultural Round gives a terrific platform to celebrate the role multicultural communities have played in the game over the last 150 years and importantly to encourage new communities to enjoy the game as supporters, players or administrators in the future.

Australian football has the extraordinary power to bring people together regardless of their background and we respect this position enormously.