The Huddle is a modern and innovative educational and community facility embedded within the North Melbourne Football Club. The focus of the Huddle is to enhance social cohesion by addressing youth disengagement in the local area and to re-define the way in which sporting organisations interact with their communities.
Funded by the Scanlon Foundation and the Australian Multicultural Foundation, the Huddle is committed to engaging with the community through its classroom at Arden Street in the heart of North Melbourne as well as in local schools.
Huddle programs target young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, in the highly diverse areas of North Melbourne, Flemington, Kensington, West Melbourne and through the new growth suburbs of the City of Wyndham. The Huddle also runs a satellite program in the City of Ballarat.
Over half the population of North Melbourne were born in another country or their parents were, so the Huddle space was set up to help them engage with their local neighbourhood and within Australian life.
The Huddle offers a diverse mix of programs to suit everyone from football, netball, volleyball, soccer, music and study support.
“The Huddle is a perfect example of sport and the community working together, with some corporate support for the same outcome. You can see the significant benefit the Huddle is having on the community, by educating lots of young people from very varied backgrounds, and giving them new opportunities.” Andrew Demetriou, AFL Chief Executive Officer
The Huddle is an important community facility supported by significant resources from the North Melbourne Football Club, the Scanlon Foundation, and the Australian Multicultural Foundation.
An eight-member Advisory Committee (AVC) guides and supports The Huddle, providing essential strategic direction and accountability mechanisms required by stakeholders. AVC members provide their services on a pro bono basis. The Advisory Committee members are:
• Mr. Peter Scanlon, Chairman, Scanlon Foundation (Chair)
• Ms. Pamela Macklin, Educational Consultant (Deputy Chair)
• Mr. Carl Dilena, CEO, North Melbourne Football Club
• Mr. Mark Brayshaw, North Melbourne Football Club board member
• Dr. B (Hass) Dellal, Executive Director, Australian Multicultural Foundation
• Mr. Andrew Swallow, North Melbourne Football Club Captain
• Ms. Elleni Bereded-Samuel, Victoria University
• Mr. Denis Moriarty, Group Managing Director, Our Community
Ex officio members
• Mr. James Brayshaw, North Melbourne Football Club Chairman
• Dr Sonja Hood, General Manager – The Huddle
• Mr. Tony Fry, CEO Scanlon Foundation (Committee Secretary)