A group of 23 local African born boys have formed the AFLNT African Boys Leadership Academy which develops leadership skills and will form a team to play a tour of duty across the Top End over the coming weeks.
"Representing multiple cultures and countries these boys have formed an exceptional bond and it is has been fantastic to see their enthusiasm towards AFL and developing new skills," said AFLNT Multicultural Programs Manager Adam Moedt.
The African Boys Leadership Academy was formed in conjunction with the Malaleuca Refugee Centre and the Nightcliff Middle School.
"Melaleuca Refugee Centre got involved in order to provide the young boys with the opportunity to grow as leaders in their community," said Moedt.
AFLNT has since partnered further with the Melaleuca Refugee Centre to help provide opportunities for these boys to grow as leaders by running the NT’s first all Multicultural NAB AFL Auskick Centre.
"The Academy boys have been running an Auskick Centre at Jingili this school term which is a fantastic achievement and shows progression with their leadership skills," said Moedt.
The boys who represent cultures such as South Sudan, Kenya, Liberia, Congo, Uganda and Dinka designed a football guernsey representative of who they are and where they come from.
All 57 African flags feature in the unique design with a rhinoceros silhouette adding a nice African touch to the jumper.
"The boys are looking forward to representing their cultures on the footy field as they take on schools and Clontarf Academies teams across Darwin and Palmerston."
The next step in the program will be the placement and integration of the 23 boys into the NTFL Clubs.
"AFLNT is working closely with Mission Australia to provide subsidies for these boys to ensure their passion for AFL is not lost but is harnessed so they can continue to participate in Australia’s Game," said Moedt.
AFLNT's Multicultural Programs are supported by Melaleuca Refugee Centre, Mission Australia and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.