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Aussie troops bring AFL to global audience.

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THE HON. JOEL FITZGIBBON MP Minister for Defence

Thursday, 7 August 2008 093/2008


Australian troops deployed around the world have helped take our national game to a brand new audience.

The AFL has marked 150 years since its first recorded game with Kick Around Australia Day, with Australian troops in East Timor and the Middle East taking it global.

Footballs, portable goal posts and whistles were donated by the AFL so the ‘Kick Around’ could take place where the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is serving overseas. The ADF has been running clinics in East Timor for almost a year with around 50 kids taking part in weekly training sessions.

The fun and activity of the clinics was a welcome break for both children and troops alike as a little piece of Australian culture was showcased in East Timor.

“It is great for our troops and the communities they are working with to be able to share our national game,” Minister Fitzgibbon said.

Minister Fitzgibbon congratulated the AFL on the “fantastic job they have done in providing these kits to kids around the country and the world”.

Information on current ADF operations is available at

For more information about the 150 Years of Australian Football celebrations, visit

Media Note: Still imagery will be available at Vision will be fed to the television networks at Parliament House.

Media contacts: Christian Taubenschlag (Joel Fitzgibbon): 02 6277 7800 or 0438 595 567 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664