Telstra Foundation and film director Phillip Noyce join forces with Football United to train young refugee footballers in digital film making.

Football United, supported by the Telstra Foundation, will launch Digital Connections, a program to help disadvantaged young people share their stories using digital technology and film, at an event on Tuesday 31 May.

Award-winning Australian film director and new Football United ambassador Phillip Noyce, is among the program advisors and will appear via video hook-up at the event, which will be officially launched by soccer personality Craig Foster and former Matilda, Gill Foster.

An initiative of UNSW's School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Football United works in partnership with councils, migrant resource centres and football clubs, using soccer to build opportunities and social inclusion in areas where there are large populations of refugee, migrant and Indigenous youth. The Digital Connections program will provide technology workshops and equipment to young people to help them share their stories.

Mr Noyce said the important initiative promised to highlight the talents of our young Australians, while also potentially introducing them to a career in film.

Telstra Group Managing Director, Strategy and Corporate Services, Paul Fegan agreed, saying the Telstra Foundation was proud to support Football United through the provision of a Social Innovation Grant. He said the initiative would make a real difference to the young people's lives.

"This is a fantastic project, one that the Telstra Foundation is delighted to support. It will serve to connect and empower young people, giving them the skills and equipment to share their inspiring stories with their communities," Mr Fegan said.

More than 800 young refugee, Indigenous and immigrant footballers participate in the program across nine regions, including Liverpool, Blacktown, Fairfield, Granville South, Parramatta, Campbelltown and Auburn in Sydney, Brisbane in Qld and Adelaide in SA.

What: Launch of Football United Digital Connections, followed by exhibition soccer match: Football United v Telstra. When: Tuesday, 31 May 2011 at 10am Where: Miller Technology High School, Cabramatta Avenue, Miller NSW

Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media office | 02 9385 8107 |