By Louise Lane, Senior Coordinator Employment Pathways – Western Bulldogs Community Foundation

    More than just a football club, the Western Bulldogs have always prided themselves on the work they do off the field. From the heart of Footscray, to Ballarat and beyond, the Bulldogs run a range of targeted community programs for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities every year through the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation.

    Across areas such as Health and Wellbeing, Youth Leadership and Diversity and Inclusion, these targeted and evidence-based programs provide participants with the tools they need to reach their full potential.

    One such initiative is the newly created Employment Pathways Program, which provides people of the West, mostly from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, with the opportunity to learn more about what’s on offer when it comes to community pathways to employment. 

    The program’s end goal is to provide meaningful employment for participants, and this is achieved through the provision of pre-employment workshops, volunteer pathways and establishing ongoing links to local services and providers.

    As part of the workshops, the Bulldogs open up the doors to the club’s home at VU Whitten Oval in West Footscray to showcase to participants the various professions involved in running an AFL club. 

    WorkSafe Victoria come and speak to the participants about their rights at work and who to contact if they ever feel unsafe while working. A key part of this is educating participants that WorkSafe have services in over 20 different languages should they ever need them – a perfect fit for those who are new to Australia completing the program.

    It’s clear that the program is having an impact, with over 95% of participants crediting the program to learning more about their community and 100% learning new skills across the initiative. 

    To learn more about opportunities within the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation, either as a participant or volunteer, visit or @WBFCFoundation on social media.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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