Bringing some light to the Perth community in need this Christmas, Mission Australia will have a friendly Fremantle face helping out at their 48th annual Christmas Lunch in the Park in Wellington Square.

Fremantle AFLW player Madi Scanlon will be lending a hand this year on Christmas Day, which marks her family’s fourth time helping out Mission Australia.

“This year my family and I are volunteering at Mission Australia’s Christmas Lunch in the Park,” Scanlon said.

“It’s something we do on Christmas Day every second year, and this will be our fourth time taking part.

“It’s an incredible day. It runs for roughly four hours and essentially provides a three-course Christmas lunch for people around Perth who are homeless, in need, or don’t have families to spend their Christmas with.

“We normally get around 1400 people attend the lunch, and around 300 volunteers on the day.

"For me, it's a really inspiring and heart-warming event."

- Madi Scanlon

“As well as their Christmas meal, Mission Australia have gifts for the kids, counselling and support for the parents if they need it, fresh clothes, hairdressers, face-painting and care packs.

“We also love to run the footy clinics with the kids, and there’s also some Fremantle merchandise this year, which is really exciting.”

The 22-year-old touched on how her family first took part in the Christmas event.

“I can credit my dad for getting us involved,” Scanlon said.

“One Christmas, we decided to switch it up from the usual family stuff and volunteer. We fell in love with it after the first time and made it our family tradition to do it every couple of years.

“Once we realised how important the day is for people to have that sense of community and family they might not otherwise receive, we realised the positive impact we could have on those people.”

Scanlon recognised she can use her platform as an AFLW player to have a positive impact in the community wherever she can.

“Volunteering is something that I took part in before I started footy, but I think now that I’ve moved into the AFLW space, I’ve realised how much of an impact we can have on the people around us,” Scanlon said.

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget, but some people look up to us, so it’s really important for me to be able to give up that time and make sure people know they’re valued in the way we feel valued by our supporters and fans.

“Christmas is a day for giving and I’m happy to be a part of that.”

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