John Moriarty Football have today announced Indigenous Football Australia - a new national body - designed to help reach thousands more Indigenous children across Australia.
The IFA will increase the impact of JMF nationwide, with former Socceroo Craig Foster forming part of the IFA Council alongside Gema Simon, Kathryn Gill, Beau Busch and John Maynard.
Co-founder and co-chair of JMF, John Moriarty, said the IFA's aim would be to "extend our platform even further to bring the benefits of John Moriarty Football to Indigenous children, families and communities right across Australia".
Moriarty also announced a partnership with UNICEF Australia that, together with the IFA, will help facilitate Closing the Gap.
JMF currently meet 11 of the 16 Closing the Gap targets and have helped more than 1,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged two to 16 years of age.
Through the work of the IFA, over 3,600 school-aged Indigenous children will now have access to football and well-being programs, with an extra 18 communities falling into the JMF catchment across the country.
JMF's partnership with public schools in remote and regional Indigenous communities will also increase from 15 to 42, and will help create new jobs for approximately 70 people.
“Since launching in 2012 in Borroloola, a small community in remote Northern Territory with 120 children, JMF has kicked many goals," Moriarty said.
"Over the past 18 months alone, our growth rate for participants is over 1,000 percent.
"We’ve taken children from the bush to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, successfully expanded in three states, held five Indigenous Football Weeks, and launched the careers of several talented young footballers, including Young Matilda, Shadeene Evans.
"Building on a decade of successful operations, JMF will reach all states to create more equitable access to the great game of football for grassroots and elite players, together with improved physical and mental health, well-being, education and community engagement for Indigenous girls and boys, families and communities.
"We are always asked by people all around Australia when JMF is coming to their community as they see the positive impact it has.
"We are very proud to be launching IFA and this nationwide expansion of JMF that will create more Indigenous-driven pathways and opportunities for our children, families and communities.”