New generation of Indigenous and multicultural talent on show

AFL NSW/ACT’s Multicultural and Indigenous Youth Leadership Program returns these school holidays, with 41 girls from across NSW and Canberra headed to Sydney to show off their skills at an intensive three-day program from 19-21 April.

These talented athletes will be given an elite experience at the program, held at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen, participating in sessions run by elite coaches, hearing from experts in mental health and wellness, learning about strengthening and conditioning, and hearing from long-time supporter of the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program, Transport for NSW, about road safety.

Players will be visited by elite AFL and AFLW players, and for the first time will experience the Movember Ahead of the Game program, which helps young people build mental resilience and develop the tools to support friends and team mates when times are tough. The Ahead of the Game program will be delivered by expert facilitators including GIANTS AFLW players, Meghan Gaffney and Kaitlyn Srhoj, who deliver the program across NSW and ACT.

Attendees are a little younger than previous iterations for the Multicultural and Indigenous Youth Leadership Programs, with the age lowered by one year. This year, the program will be attended by 13-15-year-olds selected through the GIANTS Academy and the QBE Sydney Swans Academy, and through nominations and other talent testing.

While there are many city-based players attending, regional areas are well represented with Broken Hill, Nambucca, Wollongong, Newcastle and Wagga Wagga just a few of the locations players will be travelling from to participate in the program.

The Youth Leadership Program participants from the 2023 program.

The following players have been selected in the Indigenous and Multicultural Youth Leadership Program:

NameCommunity Club
Indiana MilsomWest Wyalong
Kiki TikkerosFigtree Kangaroos
Olivia ParkerKillarney Vale Bombers
Caitlyn AshpolePort Stephens Power
Tylee Metera-PottsSouth West Sydney Blues
Victoria JohnsonSouth West Sydney Blues
Jordyn McFaddenWagga Tigers
Myla TuckerNewcastle City
Lani GrayKillarney Vale Bombers
Florence PeterAinslie Tricolours
Natalie NawauwiCoffs Breakers
Emily HollingsworthAlbion Park Crows
Indiah TowersCardiff Hawks
Darcie KickettTuggeranong Valley
Daisy Howlett-FretwellKillarney Vale Bombers
Poppi FlandersNambucca Valley Lions
Ruby FlandersNambucca Valley Lions
Sari ClarkeShellharbour Swans
Brenna FultonQueanbeyan Tigers
Billie HamiltonAinslie Tricolours

Cultures represented in this group include: India, Poland, Botswana, Indonesia and Philippines.

NameCommunity Club
Madison BooysenNorthwest Lightning
Claire BridgeNorthwest Lightning
Lucy CreanNorthwest Lightning
Kate CreanNorthwest Lightning
Mei OlsonNewcastle City
Eabha MorrisseyMaroubra Saints
Ava TurleyNorth Broken Hill
Jade MillerWeston Creek Wildcats
Ashtyn RobertsWeston Creek Wildcats
Friyana MistryWilloughby Mosman Swans
Nikki McNeilManly Bombers
Felicity HallSt Ives
Eve FroudWeston Creek Wildcats
Tia NeaveCamden Cats
Emmy GooleyBalgowlah Suns
Tiffany TomlinsonBalgowlah Suns
Lily ReidEastlake/Ainslie
Maytal GoodmanMoore Park Tigers
Isla BealbyLane Cove Cats
Ameli ElepanoManly Bombers

Talent pathway

Following two days of coaching, training and learning, players will get out on the park to compete in a match at Blacktown International Sportspark pitting the Indigenous team against the multicultural team. The match will be streamed on AFL NSW/ACT’s Facebook page.

The standout performers from this match will progress to national representative teams the Woomeras (Indigenous) and the Medleys (multicultural) joining interstate teammates later in the year to show their skills on the national stage.

Providing another talent pathway for Indigenous and multicultural players in NSW and the ACT is a key part of the program, but equally important is building leadership skills to ensure these players are the best they can be off the field as well as on it.

Support from Transport for NSW