Football United®-UniSA

Football United UniSA 

Football United - UniSA

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UniSA is leading the way to promote social justice through football (soccer) with the introduction of the Football United®-UniSA program in South Australia. Football United® (FUn) was developed at the University of New South Wales by Anne Bunde-Birouste, with the vision that the "power" of football can bring people together and contribute to harmonious and cohesive communities ( Sport encourages strong community bonds, regular physical activity and access to mentorship for young people.

Essentially, Football United® aims to increase social inclusion with opportunities for youth at risk to participate in free football programs. Following principles of community development, Football United® engages with local communities negotiating outcomes, targets and strategies with local stakeholders including community leaders and community organisations. Football United® aims to build community capacity and to facilitate skills development, in particular in areas with high proportions of refugee, migrant and indigenous children, youth and families.

UniSA is the first University to implement Football United® interstate. The Football United®-UniSA program is an initiative of Prof. Esther May, Dean of Health and Clinical Education in the Division of Health Sciences, an is conducted by a team of passionate UniSA staff and volunteers lead by Dr. Edoardo Rosso. Drawing on the success and the many strengths of existing interstate Football United® programs, FUn-UniSA strives to promote community engagement and outreach, student engagement, research, and to raise the awareness of and aspirations towards further education in South Australia.


Football Objective



Football United®-UniSA is supported by a range of sport and community organisations and well-known public ficgures with a passion for social inclusion, including Adelaide United Football Club, which plays an important role to inspire young football fans in our community.

Awer Mabil

Awer Mabil

Adelaide United FC
"It means the world to me to be an ambassador of the Football United Program. I appreciate the importance of participating in sport especially having been through a lot of stuggles as a refugee"

Josip Skoko

Josip Skoko

Former Australian National Team




Anne Gale

Anne Gale

Equal Opportunities Commissioner of SA

Liam Wooding

Liam Wooding

Adelaide United FC Youth League



UniSA has run and currently runs several programs in schools and communities in metropolitan and regional South Australia including Adelaide's northern and western suburbs (home to the greatest proportion of refugees in SA and among the most educationally disadvantaged areas in metropolitan Australia) and in Mount Gambier. These include:  

  • Playford (Uley Oval, Uley Rd, Elizabeth Downs)
  • Para Hills High School (Beafield Rd, Para Hills)
  • Roma Mitchell Secondary College (Briens Rd, Gepps Cross)
  • Underdale High School (Garden Terrace, Underdale)
  • Mount Gambier (Frew Park, Mount Gambier)
  • Cowandilla Primary School (Jenkins Street, Cowandilla)
  • Elizabeth East Primary School (Dolphin Street, Elizabeth East)
  • Salisbury North Primary School (Bagster Road, Salisbury North)
  • Northfield Primary School (North Avenue, Northfield)
  • West Torrens FUn (Western Youth Centre, 79 Marion Rd, Cowandilla)
  • Windsor Gardens Vocational Collage (McKay Avenue Windsor Gardens)

Football United

Typically, FUn-UniSA runs weekly football programs and a wide range of side events, visits and workshops. These aim to foster new connections between participants and university students, staff and volunteers; partner and collaborating agencies; and promote social connectivity in general.


Becoming Connected

FUn-UniSA provides an excellent opportunity to have fun, learn new skills, make new connections and be part of something very exciting in our local community!

Each FUn-UniSA site caters for specific needs of the local communities and each program is designed with extensive consultation with local partners and community leaders. Days and times vary, and the program is heavily relying on volunteer Youth Leaders.

Youth Leaders can engage with the program in a variety of roles at one or more sites, and their time commitment is negotiable and may vary with the role undertaken. Programs involve both boys and girls and both male and female Youth Leaders are required. Volunteering roles include, but are not limited to:

  • coaching & skills
  • fitness & conditioning
  • sport science
  • sport medicine & injury prevention
  • research support
  • media officers
  • fundraising
  • project/event management
  • site coordination
  • business development
  • project officers


Training and accreditation opportunities

Joining FUn-UniSA gives access to a thoroughly designed suite of training and accreditation opportunities to help our Youth Leaders to make a difference in the community through sport. These include both compulsory and discretionary training courses and intend to prepare Youth Leaders to become effective role models, enhance their leadership skills, gain confidence and acquire basic coaching knowledge. Youth Leaders will gain formal accreditation certificates from government and sport organisations, including Australian Sports Commission, Football Federation Australia and the Office for recreation and Sport.

Training and accreditation diagram

FUn-UniSA offers also opportunities for student placement. FUn-UniSA offers a series of connections with other UniSA programs, such as Global Experience and several practical courses across UniSA's divisions.  

Kids playing soccer

FUn offers also the opportunity to develop networks within the university and across community, government, non-government, and sport organisations. To date, FUn-UniSA has built extensive networks of supporting and collaborating bodies in SA, including government departments, migrant associations, sport organisations, local councils and NGOs. Examples include, but are not limited to:





University of South Australia


Other Partners




FUn-UniSA aims to provide a further platform to conduct high-quality research in the university. The program is connected to the Exercise for Health and Human Performance research group, developed from the natural synergy of research within the School of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia. In particular, FUn-UniSA aims to develop a focus on social aspects of sport and active recreation. FUn-UniSA offers Honours research programs and research project opportunities for undergraduate students. It also offers new opportunities for collaborative research to UniSA staff, both within the university and with other universities/organisations.



FUn-UniSA Team & Advisory Board

Dr. Edoardo Rosso
Research Fellow: Football United
Division of Health Sciences
University of South Australia  

Prof. Esther May
Dean: Health and Clinical Education
Division of Health Sciences
University of South Australia  

Ms. Anne W. Bunde-Birouste
Senior Lecturer
Convener: Health Promotion Program
Founder and Director: Football United
School of Public Health and Community Medicine
The University of New South Wales  

Dr. Richard McGrath
Lecturer: Health Sciences (Health Promotion)
School of Health Sciences
University of South Australia  

Dr. Maarten Immink
Program Director: Human Movement
School of Health Sciences
University of South Australia  

Mr. Stephen Dowdy
Head of College
UniSA College
University of South Australia  

Ass. Prof. Judy Nagy
A/Dean Teaching and Learning
Centre for Regional Engagement
University of South Australia  

Miss Joanna Bouyesi
Project Support Officer: Football United
Division of Health Sciences
University of South Australia

Ms. Kerin Cross
Senior Project Officer: Inclusion and Community Participation
Office for Recreation and Sport
Government of South Australia  

Mr. Andrew Milligan
Regional Coordinator - North Central (SA): Active After-School Communities
Australian Sports Commission
Australian Government  

Mr. Zoran Maricic
Manager: Underdale High School Football Academy
Underdale High School  

Ms. Naomi Vaughan
Community Campaigner SA/NT
Amnesty International Australia  

Mr. Gary Collis
Gary Collis & Associates Workplace Consultants  

Ms. Lee Corey
FFA Level 1 Referee


Football United UniSAContact Details

If you wish to volunteer for Football United®-UniSA or to know more about it, please contact:

Dr. Edoardo Rosso
Research Fellow: Football United
Division of Health Sciences UniSA, City East Campus
Ph: (08) 8302 2128

Football United®-UniSA:


Areas of study and research

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