Dreams fulfilled on Australia Day with The Smith Family

Melbourne Victory celebrated its Australia Day clash against Wellington Phoenix with Major Charity Partner The Smith Family acting as the match day sponsor at Etihad Stadium.

Melbourne Victory celebrated its Australia Day clash against Wellington Phoenix with Major Charity Partner The Smith Family acting as the match day sponsor at Etihad Stadium.

Sudanese-born Melbourne teenager Wilson Poni was given the honour of tossing the coin before kick off, while Ethiopian student Layet Mebrahto lead the team out onto the pitch with Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat.

The Smith Family also invited Shepparton primary school student Kalukula Kitanguno to be a special guest in the Chairman's Function, where he read his award-winning entry in The Smith Family's national I Love Australia writing competition, before being presented with his own signed Melbourne Victory strip by defender Steven Pace.

25 children sponsored by The Smith Family's Learning for Life program fulfilled a dream when they played small-sided football on the pitch at half time.

With most children heading back to school this week, Melbourne Victory is urging its legion of fans, and the wider community, to get behind The Smith Family's Back to School Appeal, and help disadvantaged children achieve the ultimate goal of a great education.

The Smith Family, a national children's charity, needs to find 3000 new sponsors through its Back to School Appeal to continue providing scholarships and educational support programs to more than 30,000 children in disadvantaged communities across Australia, including more than 7000 in Victoria.

Children sponsored through The Smith Family receive access to a range of literacy, numeracy and emotional support opportunities, as well as financial support for educational items, such as shoes, books and uniforms.

Click here for further information about The Smith Family.