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By Erin Rutherford
20 November 2022

It is with great pleasure that we announce Emma McKeon, 11-time Olympic gold medal holder, as the latest UNICEF Australia Ambassador.

With today also marking World Children’s Day, Emma hopes to be able to use her platform as UNICEF Australia’s latest Ambassador to advocate for more opportunities for children, especially those who are disadvantaged or have limited access.

"Since I was in school, I have been passionate about helping communities that are less fortunate or disadvantaged. I would love to be able to have an impact and help these communities."

Emma McKeon
Olympian and UNICEF Australia Ambassador

The importance of sport for children

Emma often reflects on her childhood and the impact sport had on her life. She enjoyed the social side, playing for fun with family and friends in the outdoors. Yet, although she always dreamt of going to the Olympics, she never truly realised the massive role it would have in her life today – representing Australia on the world stage.

She also acknowledges the other life skills she developed while participating in sport growing up. Teamwork, social skills, commitment, and persistence are all skills she embraced as she was spending time with friends while being physically active.

"Sport introduced me to life-long friends and opened up the opportunity to be where I am today."

Emma as a young teen with her father / Emma with a signed swimming cap
A young Emma with her father. Right: Emma with a signed swimming cap wearing a UNICEF shirt
© Supplied

All these years later Emma now realises the sacrifices her parents made so that she and her siblings could participate in sports as children.

"They juggled getting three kids around to different activities… I never realised how lucky we were to be able to do this."

Emma McKeon
UNICEF Ambassador

As a UNICEF Australia Ambassador, Emma will use her voice to support UNICEF’s work for vulnerable children and travel to see our programs in the field to help our team protect more of the world’s children.