Ten Queenslanders have been selected in the Rio Tinto Woomeras and Medleys squads, after the National Diversity Championships finished up last week on Friday at the Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay.
After impressive showings at the championships, Queenslanders Tiarnah Isua, Zeckeisha Oakley, Chalahn Morris-Young and Charli Anderson made the Woomeras squad, while Nyengela Mwajuma, Anjelani Kibombo, Alice Savill, Lucy Walters, Lucy Single and Ainsley Rintala-Apps were selected in the Medleys.
Players were selected based on leadership skills as well as football ability and will take part in two week-long programs throughout the course of 2018.
The Woomeras is a program supported by Rio Tinto that focuses on personal development and leadership, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young women between 14 and 16 years old.
The Medleys is slightly different, featuring an accelerated football development program for young women from multicultural backgrounds. The Medleys program focusses on strengthening leadership, cultural identity and life skills.
“These are more than just programs, we are now preparing the next generation of young leaders and footballers with the skills, qualities, and experiences to become positive role models amongst their own families and within their broader communities,” said AFL General Manager Game Development Andrew Dillon.
Over 200 participants from Indigenous and Multicultural backgrounds came together to compete at the tournament, which includes the U15 Kickstart and National U15 All Nations Cup and features teams from all states and territories.
Representing Queensland, the All Nations side won four of their six games with one loss and one draw, while the Kickstart side lost just two of their six. Percentage was the reason behind both sides falling just short of a finals campaign.
The championships also featured an additional 70 plus Indigenous and Multicultural coaches, umpires, managers, physios, trainers and support staff.
Brisbane Lions AFLW star Sabrina Frederick-Traub coached the All Nations side, while Jo Butland coached the Kickstart team.
Complete squads below.
2017 Medleys squad:
Sarah Hepinstall (NSW/ACT), Emily Pease (NSW/ACT), Shannon Wright (NSW/ACT), Tayla Pati (NT), Nyangela Mwajuma (QLD), Anjelani Kibombo (QLD), Alice Savill (QLD), Lucy Walters (QLD), Ainsley Rintala-Apps (QLD), Bethan Bell (SA), Hannah Ewings (SA), Rayna Rivalland (SA), Netty Garlo (TAS), Amren Abrahim (VIC), Amanda Ling (VIC), Mary Daw (VIC), Chandra Abrahams (VIC), Mena Layfield (VIC), Nyakoat Doijoik (VIC), Abbey Dowrick (WA), Abigail Thayer (WA), Tiana Graham (WA), Ula Time-Cribb (WA), Lauren O’Connor (WA), Emma Innes (WA).
2017 Rio Tinto Woomeras squad:
Kanayla Clayton (NSWACT), Maleah Waters-Holten (NSWACT), Mattarleu Kelly-Scholes (NSWACT), Shakira Henry (NT), Talia Corrie (NT), Samara Puruntatameri (NT), Molly Althouse (NT), Martha Ed Santis (NT), Tiarnah Isua (QLD), Zeckeisha Oakley (QLD), Charli Anderson (QLD), Tesharna Maher (SA), Madeline Agius (SA), Perri King (TAS), Charlie Lovell (TAS), Dakota Tipuamantumirri (VIC), Georgie Prespakis (VIC), Stephanie Williams (VIC), Justine Ronberg (VIC), Shakira Pickett (WA), Tei-Hahn Ryder-Woodley (WA), Chakaeya Strange (WA), Tara Garlett (WA), Monique Humphries (WA).
Rio Tinto is the principal partner to all of the AFL’s Indigenous Programs. Rio Tinto is one of Australia’s largest employers of Indigenous people, employing some 1600 Aboriginal men and women across the nation.
By Sean Melrose