Queenslanders Julian Hunt, Alex McTaggart, Charlie Ezra, Heath Molloy, Isaac Gallagher-Cheetham and Lenny Christie have been selected for the 2016 AFL Rio Tinto Footy Footy Means Business Program, which has begun with its first development program in Darwin, led by coaches Aaron Davey and Barry Lawrence.
Each year the Footy Means Business program provides 50 Indigenous men, aged 18 to 24 years, with exposure to elite AFL programs and training, along with networking opportunities in corporate environments over two development programs.
The Darwin residential program is the first of the Rio Tinto Footy Means Programs and will see participants taking part in a range of cultural and educational activities, including a visit to Rio Tinto’s ERA operation in Jabiru, Kakadu National Park and the Tiwi Islands.
On Thursday March 17, the squad will be split into two, representing Team Davey and Team Lawrence, in a match on Oval 2 at TIO Stadium.
The best players from the Footy Means Business intra-squad match will be chosen to play against the team that will appear on this year’s The Recruit on the final day of the program.
Three sets of brothers will take part in the 2016 AFL Rio Tinto Footy Means Business, Jake and Matt Doran (TAS), Peter and Daniel Farmer (WA) and Harley and Beau Alec (WA).
The one-week residential program visits Darwin for the first time with participants staying in the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre (MLLLC). Officially opened in early 2015, the MLLLC has a residential facility which provides accommodation for up to 60 children from remote Northern Territory communities.
AFL Diversity Manager Ali Fahour said young Indigenous men from across Australia benefited from being part of the program, which focuses on development and talent opportunities.
“The AFL Rio Tinto Footy Means Business Program is a stand out platform that recognises that Australian Football develops transferable skills that can be taken into the work place and back into the community.
“This year’s participants have been selected based on their desire to improve their football skills and personal development such as communication, decision making, resilience and leadership.
“The program is visiting Darwin for the first time which enables us to give participants experiences to learn more about Indigenous culture on a tour of Kakadu and the Tiwi Islands,” he said.
The participants in the AFL Rio Tinto Footy Means Business Program have been selected based on football ability, engagement with their communities and their potential to serve as a positive role model.
To be selected for the AFL Rio Tinto Footy Means Business Program, candidates must be:
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- Not engaged in AFL or Second Tier competition
- Employed (part time or apprenticeships accepted) or undertaking education/training or involved in community programs
- Displaying leadership qualities
The second Footy Means Business training program will be held in Melbourne in May, coinciding with Sir Doug Nicholls Round and culminating in the Rio Tinto Cup which is the curtain-raiser match to Dreamtime at The G at the MCG on Saturday May 28.
Rio Tinto is one of the largest private sector employers of Indigenous men and women in Australia. Alongside the AFL, Rio Tinto is now in its sixth year of involvement in the leadership development program Footy Means Business.
2016 AFL Rio Tinto Footy Means Business Squad
New South Wales: Wyndham Peachy, Mark Flack
Northern Terrioty: Justin Cooper, Rodney Nagawalli, Jaylen Marshall, Mickitja Rotumah-Onus, Ishmael Palmer, Dylan Alice, Lochlan Dhurrkay, Kendrick Albert, Adam Young-Wanambi, Marbo Mununggurritj
Queensland: Julian Hunt, Alex McTaggart, Charlie Ezra, Heath Molloy, Isaac Gallagher-Cheetham, Lenny Christie
South Australia: Jerome Newchurch, Wilfred Edwards,
Tasmania: Brodie Deverell, Rulla Kelly-Mansell,Zane Brown, Dylan Riley, Jake Doran, Matt Doran,
Victoria: Tyron Mitchell, Arnold Kirby, Koolyn Briggs, Amon Hudson, Minjarrah Jarrett
Western Australia: Jaden Parker, Terrence Binsaad, Joshua Loo, Jalen Oakley, Peter Farmer, Daniel Farmer, Harley Alec, Beau Alec, Dylan Indich