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Testimonials

“Reclink Footy is an incredible programme, and I am so pleased I was asked by Peter to get involved several years ago.

Having been fortunate enough to spend most of my life involved in sport I fully realize the impact it has.

Reclink brings to life all those wonderful lessons for people that would otherwise not get a chance.

When I attended a Reclink event I was so impressed by all that I saw.

Fun, inclusion, teamwork, and the excitement of all the participants.

Everyone had a wonderful time, and everyone left feeling better for the experience.

I had the opportunity to talk to the participants and to a person you could see the impact the programme had on each individual.

I loved the interaction with all the participants, and I could tell without their interaction with Reclink Australia it would leave a huge hole in their lives.

Thanks Peter and all the team you make so many lives better with this Footy programme and the other incredible programmes you provide.”

Paul Roos portrait photo

Paul Roos | Former AFL Coach/Business Coach


“Hi Peter,

I just wanted to say thank you for your amazing support and help for newly arrived young people their families in the City of Wyndham.

Street Surfer Bus team has been working on initiative called Engaging Communities through Sport Initiative.

The program has attracted 40+ participants every day in the past few weeks.

It has been very successful with so many amazing outcomes for young people, their families and community.

The use of a holistic approach to address the needs of newly arrived young people and their families has strengthened Youth Services ability to maintain strategic partnerships with Reclink.

Through this partnership, Reclink Sport Share was able to assist young people and their families to obtain 60+ bikes, 20 handbags for women, 15+ Soccer boots, 10+ Soccer balls, 20+ Sporting clothing, Volleyballs, 15 Runners.

Wyndham Youth Services has also provided helmets and locks for young people.

The purpose of this initiative is to create a strong sense of community connection for newly arrived young people and their families supporting Integration into the Wyndham community through offering opportunities to stay active and improve their physical and mental health outcomes.

Once again thank you. Please check out our web page for future reference: https://www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/services/youth-services.”

Abbas Sheikh | Youth Development Officer, Wyndham City Council


"Reclink truly is a terrific initiative.

Over the years these programmes have impacted so many people’s lives through improved physical and mental health as well as given those involved a genuine sense of direction and belonging.

I know at firsthand that Reclink Footy had a positive effect on players like Tim Kelly and Marlion Pickett who both participated in the program and have since gone on to forge successful careers in the AFL."

Anthony Van Der Wielen | AFL accredited player agent and Vice President, South Fremantle Football Club


“I have known the great Peter Cullen for over 15 years, and he has always impressed me as a person who genuinely wants to help those who are in need of help.

In particular, I have witnessed how the Reclink Football Programme has impacted so many people’s lives through improved physical and mental health plus, the bigger impact that it has had on whole communities.”

Jack Levi aka Comedian Elliot Goblet


“The Reclink football program has impacted so many lives.

I have watched it grow over 30 years and seen how the players’ lives are changed through becoming a part of a team.

They are healthier. Their minds grow stronger. They become a part of something.

Coaching is always about so much more than playing the game, it is an all of life task.

At Reclink that all of life task is next level.

To be a coach of one of these teams is like nothing else.

My respect to those who have coached Reclink teams over the years because you help players achieve both on and off the field.

Reclink, you are living proof of the power that is in a football, a game, and a team".

Kevin Sheedy AO | Legendary former AFL player and coach, AFL Hall of Fame Member


“I have known Pete for 10 years and it has been a pleasure to have him join me in the studio on 1116am SEN radio over the years to chat about the progress of Reclink and put a spotlight on the great work being done and then to also get involved commentating the annual Grand Final days.

It has been a pleasure to donate my time."

Brett Phillips | Radio Broadcaster and Commentator (BAP Communications)


“I have had a connection to Reclink through the various football programs and sports program for quite sometime.

Reclink does not discriminate against anyone who is involved in these programs, especially from a participation point of view. Its all inclusive, and that's why Reclink play such an important part in peoples lives and the wider community.

The work of great people like Peter Cullen and Brendan Murphy take Reclink to another level with there passion, commitment, professionalism, empathy, sympathy and love for the Reclink family."
 

Gary Ayres | 5 x time AFL Premiership Player, 2 x time Norm Smith Medallist, former AFL/VFL Coach, Australian Football Hall of Fame


“We love Reclink! And most of all we love Peter Cullen! Peter's deep sense of calling to help people experience a touch of God's mercy through sport does it for us! Like many, we heard the wonderful stories of Reclink helping people facing difficult times through sports and the arts. It wasn't long before we also heard it first-hand.

Back in 2008, our team at Sports Chaplaincy Australia had just moved into our new offices at Docklands Stadium, then known as Telstra Dome. Every day the office cleaners would come by and empty the bins, wipe the benches and vacuum the offices. The cleaners were always fun for a laugh! One day, one of the cleaners, Jo, whom we came to know quite well, noticed our newly 'blue-tacked' Reclink poster and shared her personal story.

Jo said that Reclink helped save her from a life of sadness years earlier as a working girl on the streets of St Kilda. Peter and the team from the local church would pick them up in a mini-bus and take them down the road to play netball. Never had she laughed so hard. Jo reflected that this moment of joy was a turning point for her and her friends.

If anyone would question the impact of Reclink in the small but profound moments of a person's life I would just share Jo's story. It's the practical and profound nature of mercy that can and often does occur when people sacrifice to share it.

So, thank you Peter and Reclink for showing Jesus's mercy to people no matter who they are. We can all do with his mercy. What a great legacy!"

Rev. Cameron Butler | Former CEO Sports Chaplaincy Australia (2005-2018), Melbourne Football Club AFL Chaplain (1997-2012, 2022- )


“I have known Peter Cullen since the early 1990’s which is when I first became involved with the Reclink Football Program. From the very beginning, especially down at the famous Peanut Farm at St Kilda, I was extremely impressed how inclusive the program was with its dedication and passion to improving the lives of so many.

The AFL football program, in particular, brought together so many individuals improving both their physical and mental health, with the aim of giving them a meaning to their life, while being a part of and a member of a team. Peter was the driver of this program and no doubt a highlight of each year were the famous Grand Final days spent at the Junction Oval. To see so many communities and individuals come together and participate in what was such a memorable and unforgettable occasion.

Well done to Peter and Reclink Australia for the contribution and commitment they have given in making such a difference to so many Australians over an amazing 30 years!"

Peter Knights | Former AFL Player and Coach


“Reclink footy brings a smile to my face. I have had the privilege to join the players of Reclink and see their passion and commitment to their teams. Opportunities included delivering a Pregame speech, a quarter time rev up and just sitting back and experiencing the absolute joy on the players faces as they played competitive Footy. I still cherish a video of a Player thanking me for coming. (Link: https://youtu.be/BJqGcIM1Ly4).

Wow -RECLINK Footy works for all - bringing those who walk a difficult path together and giving them purpose and fun.

Congratulations and thank you Peter and all the Reclink Australia Staff --You all are Angels."

Mark "Choco" Williams | 2004 Port Adelaide Premiership Coach


“Reclink Australia must be congratulated for providing a much-needed sporting resource to the disadvantaged members of our community. I have enjoyed my time in commentating both the Reclink Footy Grand Finals in Victoria and also the Frank Galbally Cup between Solicitors and Barristers which also raises money for Reclink.

The Reclink philosophy is positive, strong, and resilient and always a helping hand going forward."

Stephen J. Peake | Former SEN1116 host, SPORT 927,3AW,3RRR, Channel 31


“It must be close to 20 years since I first witnessed the brilliant work done by Peter Cullen and the Reclink Australia team using sport to bring a special kind of joy and belonging to people who really need it.

Reclink Grand Final Day has that ‘big game’ feel and it’s easy to see the joy in the players’ faces and what being part of a team again means to them. For me and I’m sure many others from the AFL community it’s a great privilege to be invited to play a very small part in the day."

Anthony Hudson | AFL (Sports) Commentator


“I have been involved with Recklink's football program over a number of years now and have been delighted to do so.

I have seen at firsthand how gathering a Reclink team together is like so many other teams across Australia.

You see how people bond, how their self-esteem grows with their involvement and how they see themselves as valued team members, win, lose or draw.

I hope this program continues for many years to come."

Simon Madden | Speaker, Facilitator, Coach, Trainer


“Hi Sana,

Just wanted to let you know how much we all really appreciated you and the program that you have delivered to our students over the last 8 weeks.

The students really related to you and the program that you delivered and we appreciated your professionalism and great nature. Please pass on our gratitude to Reclink."

Tracey Hughes | Teacher, Work Education, Kangan Institute (Broadmeadows Campus)


“Hi Sana,

It’s the end of term for us, and I just wanted to say a big thanks for the time and effort you put in to assist out students to get out in the community and be active.

The four futsal sessions were great early in the term, very engaging for our students with learning disabilities and made to be very inclusive. It was great that you also designed the sessions to include students with dual disabilities - in wheelchairs and with various physical and sensory disabilities as well.

As you well know, our students are typically on low income so we are also very great for your ability to assist with funding the sessions at the Broadmeadows Leisure Centre over the last four weeks.

I’m looking forward to working with you again in the future."

Carl Crotty | Teacher, Foundation Skills and Pathways, Kangan Institute (Broadmeadows Campus)


“I feel like I’ve known Peter for ever.

Indeed it seems like he’s been driving Reclink for ever, which over 30 years probably attests to.

His enthusiasm is total, and sits very comfortably alongside his humility.

He is the best spokesperson for his cause you’ll ever find which is the reason he is able to spread his message.

I have seen it at work in the area of AFL Football (Aussie Rules.)

Not only has he been able to show the disadvantaged the way through team, friendship and fellowship, but he has also been able to connect with former stars of the game to make them part of it.

Have you ever watched a Reclink Grand Final? When you listen to Brownlow Medallists and lesser players commentating through the airwaves, you can see the respect and trust that Peter has been able to garner.

Two more special attributes. He never gives up and is like a dog with a bone for his cause. And his CV Declares first and foremost his passion for the Geelong Cats.

Peter Cullen has been justifiably recognised to his dedication to active giving back."

Gareth Andrews | Executive Director & Founder, The Life Again Foundation


“I have known Peter and the team at Reclink for over 10 years now. I have been lucky enough to have had a close association with Reclink from a very young age with my father and wider family being involved with the programs and the charity. Peter himself is a man of energy, purpose and action, his presence being a guiding light for us all. He gets in the thick of the action and never just looks on when he knows he can have a positive impact on others.

I personally have been involved in some memorable Reclink moments, such as the Reclink Footy Grand Final days, The Reclink India Project that ran for a few years, as well as interviewing and having the privilege of getting to know some participants more closely. Over the past few years, I have been to the Reclink Footy Grand Final days and commentated games, presented medals to all players at the end of games, as well as conversing with local supporters of Reclink and learning more about their stories.

The Reclink India trips in 2016 and 2017 were brilliant experiences to see the sporting programs, service and support many people’s wellbeing overseas, by contributing to reduced levels of poverty and social instability/exclusion amongst India’s youth. I met some great people on these trips that I am still mates with today and am lucky to have met.

I was lucky enough to interview Sumesh Sawant and Peter Cullen on the “Boardroom Podcast.” All these individuals have stories of courage and purpose, reflecting on how the Reclink Australia programs have shaped their lives to become who they are today.

These are just a few stories, of the thousands out there, of individuals all around the country, whose lives have been positively shaped by Reclink Australia programs every single day. I count myself lucky to be a part of a community that celebrates diverse individuals through sports and arts. This community is Reclink Australia."

Tom Phillips | Current AFL Footballer with the Hawthorn Football Club and formerly Collingwood Football Club


“Sport is one of the cultural pillars of Australian life and AFL is one of our nation’s most sacred and revered pastimes.

Whether it’s the MCG or our local footy grounds, it brings so many of us from so many varied cultures together to embrace our sporting passion.

Australian Rules Football as a platform for inclusion, acceptance, healing, belonging, and redemption –Reclink has played a key role in helping to facilitate many remarkable individual and community outcomes through sport and it’s been a privilege to witness them firsthand through the Reclink Cup.

The sight of so many stories being brought together for such a worthy cause is a point of pride and I honour Reclink for their work.”

Hon Greg Hunt MP | Minister for Health and Aged Care, Federal Member for Flinders


Humans of the West: Michael Harrison’s story - CLICK HERE.

The footy team that's helping disadvantaged Aussies kick the habit - CLICK HERE.

Underdog Dolphins overcome disadvantage in premiership - CLICK HERE.

Reclink Cup Carnival Highlight Reel - CLICK HERE.


“Reclink Connect's online program has been a lifesaver for me as I have been diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 breast cancer.

Because of this I have to keep away from people.

So the online program is fantastic for keeping me fitter which is part of my healing, I’ve been doing the Chair Yoga with Claire and some dance classes.

It not only helps physically but mentally as well.

So I’m saying thank you to all involved!”

Dee Edmonds | Reclink Connect Participant


“I first became aware of Reclink in the 1990’s when I met Peter Cullen through the Sacred Heart Mission in St Kilda.

I was immediately impressed with Peter’s passion for sport and his belief that sport could change people’s lives, a belief that I also subscribed to. I was also impressed with his belief in and dedication to, the Geelong Football Club which I also support.

During this period Peter pursued my company Sportscover to sponsor and support the Reclink aussie rules football competition which we were very pleased to do. I have fond memories of going to training on several occasions and being told by one participant that he didn’t drink on Tuesday Thursday and Saturday because “they won’t let you play if you’ve been drinking.

However, one of my most lasting memory of these days is Peter Cullen’s presentation to Sportscover’s International Broker Conference in August 2002. As a guest speaker Peter had brought with him a couple of Reclink clients to explain the Reclink program and the effect it had on their lives. One gentleman in particular, Dave, told the audience what it was like to sleep on the street, the things other human beings did to you, and what the football program meant to him in his life. I remember looking around the auditorium at all these hardened insurance people who dealt with difficult situations daily and thinking that not one of them was unaffected by what Peter and Dave had to say. It was a truly inspiring presentation whose impacts are still felt today. In writing this note I spoke to several people including a friend of mine in Sydney, who all reminded me not to forget the 2002 conference.

I have always admired Peter Cullen’s passion for Reclink and its impact on peoples lives through sport. I have always been proud to call Peter a friend and Sportscover has always been proud to do what little we can to assist in the growth and development of the program.”

Peter Nash | Founder and Chairman, Sportscover Insurance


“It was over 15 years ago when I first came in contact with Reclink. I was a Maribyrnong Councillor, at a meeting of a Council working group for a project working alongside Western Region Health Centre (now cohealth), supporting marginalised people in our community. The discussion turned to the footy games that some of the folks the project was working with were involved with. What a great idea I thought."

The more I learnt about Reclink in the intervening years the more I realised just how significant Reclink has been in changing and saving lives.

I think back to those people whose lives we were trying to help to get back on track all those years ago and I know that at least some of them will only still be with us today because of Reclink.

Reclink is more than sport. Reclink creates community, belonging and a sense of hope. It provides a way and a reason for people to get back on their feet, and makes lives worth living.

What's more, Reclink events and programs are fun and worth turning up to, from every local sporting and other event, to the celebration at the Community Cup each year. This in itself builds community, connecting the Reclink supporter community with each other and with the people Reclink is working with. Thank you Reclink for all your work, reverberating and rippling out, helping to make a better and stronger society for all of us!”

Senator Janet Rice | Greens Senator for Victoria

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