Revolutionary new partnership provides sports focused young people with credit towards bachelor’s degree


In a landmark partnership between Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE), Football Coaches Australia (FCA) and XVenture, young people can now access and gain a credit towards a selection of ACPE Undergraduate Bachelors’ Degrees with the completion of a unique and immersive new virtual reality based program.

The FCA XV Essential Skills Program is made up of five modules covering Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Communication, Culture and Resilience. The program is delivered in a self-paced online-based virtual world campus, with over 100 subjects brought to life as videos, podcasts, articles, websites and interactive e-books. The modules cover universal themes and seamlessly integrate classic and contemporary models and thinking with each subject coloured with examples and cases from football, sport and business globally.

Successful completion of the FCA/ XVenture College Essential Skills Program will provide future ACPE students for specific credit of:

(1) an ACPE (Professional Communication) unit, within their Bachelor of Sports Coaching (Management),  Bachelor of Sports Coaching (Strength and Conditioning), or Bachelor of Health Promotion courses

(2) an ACPE (Leadership in Sports Business) unit within their Bachelor of Sports Business (Leadership)course.

Under the partnership (articulation) agreement, students who complete the FCAXV Essential Skills program are eligible for consideration into the outlined ACPE courses.

The program was created by XVenture Founder and CEO Mike Conway. XVenture are experts and innovators in the team, leadership and personal development space. Mike’s clinical training and expertise in all areas of emotional intelligence, resilience and leadership have seen him take the role of emotional agility and mind coach for a number of elite sporting athletes and teams. Most recently Mike worked with the Australian National Football team, Sydney FC, Perth Glory, WBBL Sixers, WBBL Thunder and Olympians. In the FCA XV Essential Skills Program, Mike also draws on his current and past experience as a leader and advisor for organisations such as EY, Deloitte, Standards Australia and The Wiggles.

This new arrangement is an extension of FCA’s partnership with ACPE which also provides internship opportunities for ACPE students to fulfil their ‘Work Integrated Learning’ requirements.

ACPE CEO, Debbie Le Roux stated: “This exciting partnership between like-minded organisations aligns with our strategic aspirations to have an impact on the social and educational wellbeing of the sporting community and to provide appropriate pathways into higher education for coaches, athletes, administrators and anyone who has a passion for sport and learning.  ACPE is home to many who are passionate about sport and who are at different stages of life or learning.  We are thrilled to be partnered with FCA and XVenture to facilitate an industry relevant, contemporary and high-quality pathway into higher education.”

Glenn Warry, CEO, Football Coaches Australia stated: “… A key strategy of FCA is to implement world leading benchmarks, programs and partnerships to enhance the best practice and high-performance capabilities of current and future Australian coaches. FCA is proud to partner with ACPE in supporting young students in this challenging world with learning environments and FCA XVenture ‘essential’ skills’ highly relevant to modern coaching. Aligning and integrating Australian football coach education and tertiary education pathways for coaches, players, administrators and other sport professionals, makes total sense.”

XVenture Founder and CEO, Mike Conway stated: “Having the opportunity to partner with an educational institution who is committed to providing young people with access to contemporary learning through collaboration [with industry] is a breath of fresh air. My team and I are passionate about developing accelerated experiential learning programs and utilizing the best and latest in technology to deliver these essential skills, which until recently have been seen as ‘soft’. In an ever-changing world, these skills are more critical than ever.”

About – ACPE, Football Coaches Australia and XVenture

Australian College of Physical Education

The Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE) is a leading provider of specialist bachelor degrees and graduate diplomas in the related disciplines of sport, applied fitness, health science, community health, business, physical education and dance. Established in 1917, ACPE aims to connect motivated and well-equipped students with fulfilling careers in their chosen field. ACPE aspires to maintain an impeccable reputation as a knowledge hub that serves the industry and broader community through scholarly activity, innovation and education.  Recognised as an Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) by Sport Australia, ACPE is proud to support student athletes who strive for academic and sporting excellence – we provide the highest level of service to elite athletes.

Football Coaches Australia

For Coaches, By Coaches … promoting and strengthening the reputation of football in Australia, and the reputation of Australian football on the world stage. Founded in November, 2017 as an association, FCA provides a collective voice for Australian professional and community football coaches.

FCA aims to provide a holistic support model for coaches, with key pillars of Advocacy, Professional Development, Wellbeing and Gender Equity and Diversity.


Founded by Mike Conway, XVenture are experts and innovators in the team, leadership and personal development space, with a track record that has taken them around the globe. They create and deliver accelerated experiential learning, recruitment and onboarding solutions combining cutting edge technology (including virtual reality), with learning and leadership expertise.

Football Australia bolsters leadership with key new appointments

Football Australia has confirmed the appointments of Briana Harvey as General Manager of the Women’s National Teams and David Mason for the role of General Manager of the Men’s National Teams.

These strategic appointments are part of Football Australia’s ongoing efforts to strengthen and enhance the leadership and management of its national teams, ensuring both the women’s and men’s programs benefit from experienced and dedicated leadership.

Harvey has an extensive background in sports management, having held key roles at prominent organizations such as Hockey Victoria, the Australian Football League, Hawthorn Football Club, and, most recently, at the GWS GIANTS Football Club. Her diverse experience across these major sporting bodies highlights her expertise and leadership capabilities in the field.

Mason’s deep involvement with Australian football stretches back to 1998. Throughout his career, he has held numerous management positions in media and communications, football operations, and club administration at Northern Spirit, Parramatta Power, Sydney FC, and Football Australia.

His extensive experience across these diverse roles has equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of the sport’s landscape, making him a valuable asset in his new role.

For the last seven years, Mason has served as CEO of Manly Warringah Football Association and Manly United FC, one of Australia’s largest football associations. Returning to Football Australia, Mason brings with him a vast reservoir of knowledge in local, regional, and global football.

His experience is complemented by a deep familiarity with Australia’s National Football Teams, positioning him to make significant contributions in his new role.

Beginning on August 12, both Harvey and Mason will take charge of the strategic, operational, and administrative aspects of Football Australia’s Men’s and Women’s National Teams. Their responsibilities will include planning and managing budgets, as well as coordinating overall annual match schedules.

In their roles, they will ensure that all logistical and operational needs are met, driving the success and efficiency of the national teams’ programs.

Their leadership will be pivotal in shaping the future of Australian football on both the national and international stages.

Head of National Teams Gary Moretti expressed his excitement of the designation via press release.

“We are delighted to have secured the services of both Briana and David who as individuals and collectively bring a wealth of industry knowledge to Football Australia,” he said.

“Briana has a strong corporate pedigree with extensive experience within elite level sport. Her background and passion for women’s sport will be an invaluable asset to our National Teams both now and in the future.

“David is a football person and has contributed to the sport at all levels for almost three decades. In addition to his strong football acumen, David brings significant business and operational experience from his highly successful tenure as a CEO within the football industry.

“Along with Andrew McKenzie (General Manager – High Performance), the appointments of Briana and David will strengthen the management and future prospects of our National Teams as we look to create an elite performance and operational environment featuring a world’s best-practice focus.”

CEO of Football Australia James Johnson added how their experience and wealth of knowledge will ensure operation excellence via press release.

“The appointments of Briana and David are strategic moves that align with our vision to enhance the performance and success of our National Teams. Their combined experience and leadership will play a crucial role in ensuring operational excellence, so we remain competitive on the global stage and continue to inspire the next generation of football talent in Australia.”

Football Australia – National Teams Senior Management

Head of National Teams: Gary Moretti
General Manager – Women’s National Teams: Briana Harvey (commencing 12 August)
General Manager – Men’s National Teams: David Mason (commencing 12 August)
General Manager – High Performance: Andrew McKenzie (commenced 10 July)
General Manager – Football Analysis, Data and Insights (to be appointed)

The creation of four new leadership positions within the National Teams underscores Football Australia’s commitment and investment in its Senior and Youth National Teams, as outlined in the XI Principles for the future of Australian Football. Every position plays a critical role in advancing, overseeing, and ensuring the sustained success of all High Performance and National Team programs and initiatives.

Football South Australia extend collaboration with SAASL

Football South Australia and the South Australian Amateur Soccer League (SAASL) have extended their collaboration, strengthening their cooperation in developing football in the state.

There was a meeting held recently where key representatives from both organisations discussed ways to continue their growth of the game in the state at all levels.

Since the partnership began in 2018, the two parties have made a meaningful impact in the South Australian football community.

Several key initiatives have been launched through this collaboration which include:

Referee Development: Football SA’s Referees Department is now responsible for assigning match officials for all SAASL games. In 2024, the strategic emphasis by Football SA and SAASL on referees has led to a notable improvement in match official coverage for Senior Divisions in both Saturday and Sunday leagues.

Officiating Initiatives: Football SA has introduced various initiatives to recruit new referees and support young officials, such as State Championships and specialised mentorship programs. Meanwhile, SAASL is actively working on strategies to enhance their Club Referee program, offering a clear pathway for both new and returning referees.

Respect Campaign: The Armband Campaign to protect young referees has been successfully launched. Embraced by clubs, participants, and the football community, the bright orange armbands worn by referees under 18 serve as a clear reminder that these officials are minors.

Venue Support: ServiceFM Stadium has been the venue for major SAASL events, offering a professional environment for amateur league matches.

Streamlined Registration: SAASL players will keep registering via a consistent Player Registration System, which enhances administrative efficiency and ensures the integrity of player registrations.

Shared Competition Management System: Offering uniform and efficient Competition Management Processes across all competitions, enhancing efficiency for clubs, referees, and association administrators.

Enhanced Player Protection: SAASL players are covered by the National Insurance Scheme, which offers essential protection for clubs, administrators, volunteers, and participants.

Michael Carter, CEO of Football SA spoke very highly of the partnership and its effects on the game in SA.

“This extension represents more than just a renewal of our agreement,” he said in a statement.

“It’s a testament to the evolving and strengthening relationship between Football SA and SAASL. We’re working closer together than ever before, and the results speak for themselves.”

George Fotopoulos, President of SAASL and SAASL Board members and Executive Officer Darcy Evan shared a similar sentiment about the excitement of this continued long-term partnership.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Football SA. Our ongoing affiliation has seen a significant improvement in our Referee coverage in 2024, that is due to the collaboration and hard work of both the Football SA and the SAASL administration teams. We look forward to further opportunities the partnership will provide,” SAASL confirmed in a statement.

Overall, this partnership enhances the infrastructure, safety, and quality of football in South Australia, encouraging greater participation for players, coaches and referees which is helping the sport thrive at all levels.

Amateur and grassroots football success is the core to any good footballing foundation and this prosperous partnership continuing is a brilliant result.

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