Treasurer Chris Bowen announced a government funding commitment of $10 million towards the establishment of the Johnny Warren Football Institute, a permanent football-centric education facility in the west of Sydney.
The Institute (JWFI) is an initiative of the Johnny Warren Football Foundation, representing the most ambitious project embarked on by the Foundation since its inception in 2003.
The facility will embrace football and academic education and is aimed at preparing students for a professional life in aspects of the game such as coaching, refereeing, management, administration, sports science and law.
It will especially target the disadvantaged and will be a catalyst for Australian engagement with Asia.
“This will be a fabulous legacy for football and the country, the realisation of a Johnny Warren dream,” said Jamie Warren, Chairman of the JWFF and the nephew of Johnny Warren. “Importantly it’s not just a monument but a living, breathing facility that will benefit football long-term and far into the future in the game’s heartland.”
Treasurer Bowen spoke of the importance of the institute: “The JWFI will build on the work of the Johnny Warren Football Foundation (JWFF) – a non-profit virtual academy which began operation in 2003 and is operating on donations and $1.5 million in seed funding it received from the NSW Carr Government in 2004,” he said.
“We must now take Johnny Warren’s legacy and the Foundation to the next level.
“Federal Labor wants the Johnny Warren Football Institute to be the home of football development in Australia and there is no better location for it than in Western Sydney.”
Foundation board member Les Murray added: “Western Sydney, as the hub of Australia’s football population, is the perfect location for the Institute, which will be for the benefit of all Australians.
“The vision is that the facility will not be just about football but more about enriching Australia through the medium of the world game, the essence of Johnny Warren’s mission throughout his life.”