Crows kicking goals for Indigenous youth
The Adelaide Football Club is helping young Indigenous people in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands complete high school and become leaders in their community, with support from the Australian Government.
The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, joined the Member for Adelaide, Kate Ellis, and the Member for Hindmarsh, Steve Georganas, at West Lakes today to launch the club’s Aboriginal programs with Andrew McLeod and students who are benefiting from these initiatives.
Ms Macklin said the Gillard Government was investing $300,000 to support the club to run an Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program throughout the APY Lands.
“This important program is supporting about 30 young men and women in the APY Lands through their senior school studies and helping them to become role models for fellow students,” Ms Macklin said.
“The program has been developed in consultation with APY leaders and will help young people stay focused on their studies, build their leadership skills and contribute to their communities.”
Ms Macklin also announced a $250,000 grant to help build a community hall on the grounds of the Mimili Anangu School in the APY Lands.
The hall will be used by the school for classes, assemblies, music and to build public speaking, leadership and presentation skills. It will also be used for community events and meetings.
The Adelaide Football Club is working with local schools to select young people who have participated well and shown dedication at school, sports and in their community.
Participants recently attended a camp in Adelaide with Andrew McLeod, a dual-premiership player for the Crows, which included education, sport and mentoring sessions.
“Sport, and in particular football, plays a powerful role in inspiring and motivating young Aboriginal people in remote communities, and this program is already kicking goals,” Ms Macklin said.
“We’re seeing encouraging signs such as an increase in school attendance, and better skills in leadership and teamwork.”
The Member for Adelaide, Kate Ellis, said the club’s Aboriginal programs played a vital role helping young Aboriginal South Australians link with education, sport and mentoring opportunities.
“I’m really proud we are able to support the Crows to deliver this fantastic program, and we are already seeing the very real results it is achieving for youth from the APY Lands,” Ms Ellis said.
“Anyone who has been involved in AFL programs with Aboriginal youth will tell you it makes a very real difference to self-esteem, motivation and a sense of achievement – and I’m really glad we were able to provide the financial backing to see this program get off the ground.”
The Member for Hindmarsh, Steve Georganas, said the partnership between the Government and the Crows was making a difference in closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.
“The Adelaide Football Club is doing a fantastic job encouraging kids in the APY Lands to have a strong focus on education and preparing them to complete their high school studies,” Mr Georganas said.
“The Gillard Government is committed to supporting young Aboriginal leaders in South Australia as part of our efforts to close the gap, and we’re proud to work with the Crows to help achieve this.”