tmedia
Main content

Latest Videos

‘We’re One’: Coniglio

Alison Zell  August 5, 2015 3:06 PM

'We're One': Stephen Coniglio on Multicultural Round GIANTS TV catches up with midfielder and Australia Post AFL Multicultural Ambassador Stephen Coniglio.
Stephen Coniglio with fellow ambassadors Paul Puopolo, Alipate Carlile and David Zaharakis.

Stephen Coniglio with fellow ambassadors Paul Puopolo, Alipate Carlile and David Zaharakis.

I think it’s important to encourage those people from multicultural backgrounds and make them at ease coming into a club, whether that be a player or committee member or someone that’s helping out.

After seeing the growth of AFL in the multicultural communities of Western Sydney over the past four years, GIANTS midfielder Stephen Coniglio believes diversity is the key to introducing newcomers to the AFL.

Coniglio is of Italian heritage and works as an Australia Post AFL Multicultural Ambassador in his local community to promote and help grow the game of Australian football.

He is one of 12 player ambassadors from 11 AFL clubs and works with the NSW Multicultural Talent Academy, helps drive NSW Multicultural Round, and is a talent mentor to multicultural participants in the talent pathway.

With an Italian father and English mother, who both migrated to Australia in the 1960s, Coniglio knows how important it is encourage diversity especially at sporting clubs.

“I think diversity is important in society in general,” Coniglio said.

“We’re one now and we have been for a lot of years. I think it’s important as well that you highlight your background and share experiences and bring different traditions into our country.

“I think it’s important to encourage those people from multicultural backgrounds and make them at ease coming into a club, whether that be a player or committee member or someone that’s helping out.

“Just introduce them to the game because it’s a very easy game to fall in love with.”

Western Sydney is one of the most multicultural places on earth, home to a dozen of the top 20 most multicultural suburbs in Australia.

In the areas surrounding the club’s home training facility and stadium in Sydney Olympic Park, around three quarters of the residents were born overseas.

Sydney is home to 70 nationalities with local communities of more than 3,000 people with Parramatta a major multicultural hub, with 70 per cent of the population born overseas.

This week the AFL will celebrate Multicultural Round, highlighting the contribution multicultural communities have made to the game’s history and welcoming new communities to embrace Australian Football as fans, players, umpires or administrators.



“It’s definitely an important week and something for me that is extra special,” Coniglio said.

“It’s great the AFL have taken the initiative in the last few years to highlight a round.

“Playing for the GIANTS and being in Western Sydney, the communities here are diverse in terms of where they come from.

“It’s great to work with those kids and slowly introducing them to the game of AFL - where it might be a bit foreign to them - and seeing the progression from when I first got here until now.”

Often mis-pronounced, Conilgio (with a silent ‘G’) said his surname has an interesting history.

“I’ve had a lot of people texting me when they’re out for dinner at Italian restaurants saying I’ve ordered the Coniglio, ‘What’s that?’

“It actually means rabbit in Italian but the nickname hasn’t stuck, I’m pretty happy with just Cogs now.”

The GIANTS take on Essendon on Sunday, August 9 at 3.20pm at Spotless Stadium. Tickets start from $24 for an adult and $48 for a family of two adults and two kids with children under 15 free.

CLICK HERE to get your tickets now