Southerns Boy-O Christie with the ball during the Footy Means Business Pre Game between North and South, Round 8 2012 at the MCG, Melbourne

Footy Means Business Kicks Off in Perth

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The AFL and Rio Tinto will conduct the first Footy Means Business camp in Perth this week starting Wednesday November 14, as part of the year-long leadership development program for 50 Indigenous men from across Australia. 

Footy Means Business provides rising Indigenous football players, aged between 18 to 24 years-old, with exposure to elite AFL programs and training, along with networking opportunities in corporate environments to strengthen leadership and teamwork skills.

Managed by AFL Engagement & Talent Coordinator Chris Johnson, the program also involves the AFL's Xavier Clarke and Andrew McLeod as well as other Indigenous mentors.

All stakeholders involved in the Footy Means Business program are committed to a 100 per cent success rate for participants to enter into one or more of the NAB AFL Draft, full-time employment or accredited training or education.

AFL National Community Engagement Manager Jason Mifsud said the program highlights the impact that can be achieved when sport and business combine to provide opportunities for Indigenous people.

“Footy Means Business is a unique program that recognises and further develops the transferable skills between Australian football and employment. This includes skills such as communication, decision making, resilience and leadership.”

Rio Tinto is the largest private sector employer of Indigenous men and women in Australia. Alongside the AFL, Rio Tinto is now in its third year of involvement in the leadership development program Footy Means Business.

The 50 participants for this year’s program have been selected by AFL Regional Development Officers based on football ability, engagement with their communities and their potential to serve as a role model.

To be selected for the 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
  • Aspirational
  • Displaying leadership qualities

As part of the Footy Means Business camp, an exhibition match, Northern v Southern, will take place at Medibank Stadium, Leederville Oval on Saturday November 17, coached by Chris Johnson, Andrew McLeod and Xavier Clarke.

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