The GIANTS have been named the winner of the 2022 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Community Medal for the second year in a row.
The award recognises the achievements of an individual or sporting code who has promoted cultural understanding and sporting endeavours within or between communities of different cultural and/or linguistic backgrounds.
The GIANTS' philanthropic programs engage and empower young people from culturally diverse, low socio-economic and disadvantaged communities across Western Sydney, Southern NSW, and the ACT.
Through the GIANT Hand program, which launched last year during lockdown, the club partnered with several community organisations to provide meals to vulnerable members of the community who were facing the most severe lockdown conditions in Western Sydney as a result of COVID.
The meals were prepared at the GIANTS training facility in Sydney Olympic Park, in partnership with Multicultural NSW, and were delivered (contactless) by GIANTS players, staff, local schools and community organisations such as Campsie LAC Police, the Lighthouse Community Support Network and the Addison Road Community organisation.
Across 13 weeks the GIANTS cooked and delivered more than 15,000 meals to 4,500 families across 12 LGAs in Sydney.
The Village Plaza Sports Medal was awarded to the GIANTS as part of the 2022 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals.
GIANTS Head of Community Ali Faraj said:
"The GIANTS are honoured to receive the Premier’s Multicultural Community Sports Medal. said.
“One of the key values at the GIANTS is to enrich the lives of the communities in which we operate, and with so many people heavily impacted by the strict COVID lockdowns in different ways, putting food on their tables was something we wanted to help with.
“We have an unwavering commitment to diversity, and our goal was to support the multicultural communities who were doing it tough and to lift their wellbeing by having pre-made meals delivered to their homes.
“The GIANT Hand project wouldn’t have been possible without the ongoing support of Multicultural NSW and our community partners, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them – all of our partners, volunteers, GIANTS players and staff, and everyone who stepped in to help us make a difference over the past few months.”
As well as spearheading the club’s GIANT Hand Initiative, GIANTS Head of Community Ali Faraj has also been busy this pre-season heading over to the UAE as part of the Bachar Houli Foundation (BHF) Elite Camp.
The elite performance camp is an international program that aims to develop young leaders within the Muslim community.
Participants are selected by their peers based on their leadership qualities to further develop their knowledge and experiences to become role models for the wider community. The camp is designed to deepen the participants leadership skills, cultural awareness, and life skills.
The participants are engaged in an intensive 10-day program under the watchful eye of former Richmond star Bachar Houli. The camp which was held in Dubai this year engages some of the world best leadership and mental health coaches ensuring participants return with a greater sense of confidence and experiences.
“The camp enriches the participants lives with education on goal setting, leadership and identity with the overarching banner being football development,” Faraj said.
“The camp delivers a genuine impact on the participants and staff involved with strong engagement, knowledge sharing and building life skills to be implemented in their lives both professionally and personally,” Faraj said.
The GIANT Hand program has continued into 2022, with the club making 3000 meals this week that will be sent to the residents of Lismore, who have been hit by devastating floods over the past fortnight.