Every two years the AFL and the AFL Players Association invite up to 80 players from around the country to participate in a camp which focuses on career development and leadership.
Camps include cultural development sessions which identify and capture the particular dynamics of AFL and Club culture and the intersection with Indigenous people's culture.
Other sessions look at the expectations of Clubs, the industry and the community and how we can work better to meet these expectations.
During the week, players also attended training and vie for selection to play in the AFL Indigenous All-Stars Match against an AFL club.
The AFL and AFL Players’ Association wishes to advise the bi-annual AFL/AFLPA Indigenous All Stars camp will commence in Broome on Wednesday February 1.
Fifty-five Indigenous players from across the league will take part in the four-day camp that will focus on personal and cultural development as well as industry education.
The camp provides a unique opportunity for Indigenous footballers to bond through player-led cultural development sessions, football training and traditional activities with local communities, such as fishing and dancing. The cultural development sessions will identify and discuss the particular dynamics of AFL and club culture and the intersection with Indigenous people’s lives.
Other player-led sessions will look at the expectation of clubs, the industry and the community and how the AFL and the AFLPA can work collaboratively to best cater for Indigenous players.
Also in attendance will be club Player Development Managers and football operations staff to absorb some of the cultural discussions of the camp.
AFL General Manager Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch said the camp is a unique occasion for the AFL’s Indigenous players to come together in a culturally appropriate setting ahead of the 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
“The AFL/AFLPA Indigenous All Stars camp aims to support the personal and professional development of our Indigenous players and enable their engagement with the Aboriginal people of the Kimberley region,” Ms. Hosch said.
“We have worked with our players to ensure the camp has a strong cultural focus and celebrates and strengthens their cultural identity.
“Our game is the number one choice sport for many Indigenous Australians across the country and to see 15 per cent of all players drafted last year identify as Indigenous men shows the strong links between football and Indigenous people.
“We hope all of these footballers continue to enhance their leadership capacity and continue the legacy of great Indigenous footballers who have laid the foundations for their success.”
AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh said the AFL/AFLPA Indigenous All Stars camp is a great opportunity to get players from across the country, and covering varying demographics, together to explore ways to better maximise their time in the game.
“The camp will provide all Indigenous players the opportunity to not only connect with culture, but to further educate the industry about what we can be doing better to support past, present and future Indigenous players,” Mr. Marsh said.
“It’s a priority for the AFLPA Indigenous Advisory Board that the AFL industry is working together as a whole to support Indigenous players and their families, from the minute they are drafted and well into retirement.”
The following players will attend the camp in Broome:
Brisbane Lions: Allen Christensen, Cedric Cox
Carlton: Jarrod Pickett, Kym LeBois, Liam Jones, Sam Petrevski-Seton
Collingwood: Kayle Kirby, Mitchell McCarthy
Essendon: Jake Long
Fremantle: Bradley Hill, Danyle Pearce, Michael Walters, Stephen Hill
Geelong: Brandan Parfitt, Jamaine Jones, Nakia Cockatoo, Quinton Narkle
Gold Coast Suns: Brandon Matera, Callum Ah Chee, Jack Martin, Jarrod Harbrow, Sean Lemmons, Steven May
Greater Western Sydney: Jeremy Finlayson, Nathan Wilson
Hawthorn: Cyril Rioli, Kieran Lovell, Shaun Burgoyne
Melbourne: Dion Johnstone, Jeffrey Garlett
North Melbourne: Jed Anderson, Jy Simpkin, Lindsay Thomas, Paul Ahern
Port Adelaide: Aidyn Johnson, Brendon Ah Chee, Chad Wingard, Jake Neade, Jarman Impey, Karl Amon, Patrick Ryder, Sam Powell-Pepper
Richmond: Daniel Rioli, Nathan Drummond, Shai Bolton, Shane Edwards, Tyson Stengle
St Kilda: Ben Long, Jade Gresham
West Coast Eagles: Josh Hill, Malcolm Karpany, Lewis Jetta, Francis Watson, Sharrod Wellingham, William Rioli
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.