PRESS RELEASE 8th June 2011.
AFL LEGEND ROBERT ‘DIPPER’ DIPIERDOMENICO TO LEAD AUSTRALIAN AFL DELEGATION TO ISRAELSET TO ASSESS AND STEP UP PREPARATION FOR THE PEACE TEAM’S RETURN TO AUSTRALIA FOR THE AFL 2011 INTERNATIONAL CUP.
Coach of the Peace Team in the AFL 2011 International Cup, AFL legend Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico departs Australia on June 15th for Israel, in order to step up preparations for the team’s arrival into Australia in August.
‘Dipper’ who will coach the Peace Team when they return to Australia to compete in the AFL International Cup series from August 12th -27th 2011, will be leading an Australian delegation, including Peace Team Ambassador and Western Bulldogs board member, Henry Jolson QC. This follows the trip last month to Israel by AFL Ambassador and former Sydney Swans Captain Brett Kirk, to train with the AFL Peace Team.
In honour of their departure, the Australian delegation will be given an official farewell on Tuesday June 14th, from the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Israel and the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Palestine at Parliament House, Victoria.
Kirk, who was appointed AFL Ambassador in December 2010, has been traveling with his family around the world to check on the progress of a number of teams that will compete in this year’s International Cup.
Reflecting on his trip to Israel Kirk said, “To think of what’s happening in this country at the moment, it takes a lot of courage to do what they’re doing”.
”This echoes comments made by AFL CEO, Andrew Demetriou during his recent Canberra Press Club address, “One of my proudest moments as CEO was the Peace Team which played in the 2008 International Cup. Everyone thought it was ludicrous idea to bring Palestinians and Israelis together….but the Peace Team worked. In fact it was a great success”, he said.
In 2008, local Sydney woman Tanya Oziel achieved her dream of creating and contributing to peace in the Middle East. In cooperation with the Peres Centre for Peace and its Australian Chapter, they created the first joint Palestinian-Israeli AFL team, consisting of men aged 18-35 from all over Israel and the West Bank who not only didn’t know each other, but also didn’t know the game.
Due to the project’s overwhelming success, a second AFL Peace Team has been formed. Participation in this year’s AFL International Cup will again demonstrate to Australia and the world, that Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, can and do continue to work together to reach common goals. The Peres Centre for Peace and Palestinian partner the Al-Quads Association for Democracy and Dialogue are extremely proud to be involved with the return visit of the Israeli-Palestinian AFL Peace Team.
Media are invited to attend the official farewell function for the AFL 2011 International Cup delegation to Israel.
When: Tuesday 14th June
Time: 6pm for 6:15-7:30pm
Where: Room K, Victorian Parliament House, Spring St, Melbourne
For additional information, to confirm your attendance or to arrange interviews please contact:
Kate Telfer: (0433) 224 249
Ronnie Atlas: (0418) 666 600
or email firstname.lastname@example.org