First Multicultural Grand Final Week Celebrations was held at the Aitken Partners Office In Melbourne
Indian Executive Club’s inaugural event “Grand Final Week Celebrations” was held at the Aitken Partners Office in Melbourne on 29 September. More than 120 attendees were present at the event making it one of the most successful multicultural gatherings to celebrate the football season in 2016.
At the event, IEC hosted a panel of speakers including Andrew Clarke from Aitken Partners, Amit Bains and Lyndsay Gilbee from St Kilda Football Club, Patrick Karnezis former player with Brisbane Lions, Justin Rodski from Essendon Football Club, AFL Ambassador Molina Asthana. Andrew Clarke spoke in length about the history of the game, the relevance of the game in Victoria and how multicultural communities can gain immensely by embracing the sport. Molina Asthana touched up on the inclusiveness of the sport and stressed on how AFL as a sporting body has reached out to various segments of Australia making it the most inclusive game.
Andrew Clarke hosted a Q&A with Ameet Bains, Lyndsay Gilbee and Patrick Karenezis on various aspects of multiculturalism and football. The discussion was robust with Lyndsay talking about his stint with Western Bulldogs. Ameet spoke about how he grew up in country Victoria playing the game nurturing a passion that saw him become the CFO of St Kilda. Patrick Karenezis focused on his stint with Brisbane Lions.
Justin Rodski from Essendon Football Club made an interesting presentation on how the Club has actively pursued with engaging with the Indian community which included spreading its work in India. In an attempt to popularise football, the EFC has organised Auskick for kids of Indian heritage in Cranbourne. The EFC has also conducted bus tours from temples and gurudwaras to the MCG ferrying devotees to catch a glimpse of the game.
IEC Chairperson Vinay Sharma made concluding remarks at the event and announced how the event will be an annual gathering for IEC and businesses. IEC’s event Grand Final celebrations will be hosted again next during the Grand Final Week celebrations.
Speakers at the IEC Event
Andrew Clarke is the Marketing Manager at Aitken Partners but has also worked as a sport writer and paid his way through university as an umpire, his first job being at an Australian Football publication in the 1980s. Since then he has worked at various levels in and around the sport, including coaching with the Pakistan Shaheens and the Caulfield Bears where he also served as Club President.
Lyndsay Gilbee played more than 200 games for the Western Bulldogs and is now a development coach with St Kilda, he played in 3 losing preliminary finals between 2008 and 2010 while with the Dogs and is no doubt looking forward to Saturday’s game.
Ameet Bains is one of AFL’s lesser known multicultural leaders, forging his path behind the scenes on his way to his present position as chief operating officer for the St Kilda Football Club. Ameet was born and raised in Bendigo to Indian born parents.
Patrick Karnezis played football for both Brisbane and Collingwood on the AFL and retired as a player at the end of last season aged only 23 after 5 seasons and 25 games. He found the move to Brisbane tough and then battled injury at Collingwood. With Greek heritage he ended up choosing Australian football over various forms of soccer. played football for both Brisbane and Collingwood on the AFL and retired as a player at the end of last season aged only 23 after 5 seasons and 25 games. He found the move to Brisbane tough and then battled injury at Collingwood. With Greek heritage he ended up choosing Australian football over various forms of soccer.