A migrant himself in the sixties from England, he soon found that it was soccer that linked him into the Melbourne community and established himself with friends (of a life time) which secured his future in his new nation.
Tony Dunkerley is the immediate past President of the Victorian Football Association, the former Junior Football Commissioner, a former Australian Joeys Assistant Coach, former Victorian Under 21 Coach and under aged Victorian teams and is now back coaching seven year olds.
Moreover he is a father and dotting grand father and a committed Christian. Tony Dunkerley has come on innumerable Country Town Tours with me in challenging rural and regional youth in their sport and Christian holistic living, conducted many seminars on ‘mentoring’ and spoken at many Melbourne schools on these same themes. .
He has engaged in many media interviews, one was with the Australian Missionary News IPTV anchorman Jeremy Dover which can be viewed here:
Soccer in community for refugee children
Having been involved in soccer all these years, Tony Dunkerley (70) is now focused on a goal to link the children of refugee families into the wider community through football and in so doing, illustrate to them a better understanding of how Australians function and how the values in their new society work out in practical ways.
He has come up against bureaucratic issues which he is working through and hopefully will fine a solution with some better understanding of his goals. All this costs money, and he can get funding should his junior soccer competition be refugee nation focused.
In other words there appears to be money available for Afghan refugee junior soccer, and Iraqi refugee junior soccer, as it were, but not for a junior soccer cosmopolitan project. This is a vital stepping stone project.
The costs are significant. Sporting fields need to be found and Shire Council costs met, the planning and structure takes up administrative dollars, kits for each squad which includes shorts and shirts, socks and boots along with many other incidentals that come up.
But Tony Dunkerley is a mover and a shaker. He is working his way through these processes to find a way forward and it may not come as first considered, but the Lord may work another miracle altogether where left field comes back into play with amazing outcomes.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html