Eleven West Australians have been selected in the Rio Tinto Woomeras and Medleys squads, following the 2017 AFL National Female Diversity Championships held in Byron Bay last month.
Following impressive performances at the championships WA’s Abbey Dowrick, Abigail Thayer, Tiana Graham, Ula Time-Cribb, Lauren O’Connor, and Emma Innes were selected in the Medleys squad, while Shakira Pickett, Tei-Hahn Ryder-Woodley, Chakaeya Strange, Tara Garlett, and Monique Humphries made the Rio Tinto Woomeras squad.
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 Rio Tinto Woomeras program focuses on personal development and leadership, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young women between 14 and 16 years old.
The Medleys program provides an accelerated football development opportunity for young women from multicultural backgrounds, focusing 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.
More than 200 participants from Indigenous and Multicultural backgrounds came together to compete at the National Female Diversity Championships which included the u15 Kickstart and National u15 All Nations Cup.
WA’s Kickstart and All Nations teams both made it into their respective Grand Finals following impressive campaigns. The Kickstart team claimed four wins from six games, while the All Nations squad secured five victories from their six games played.
Kickstart took home the cup following an impressive 3.2 (20) to 1.5 (11) Grand Final victory over Northern Territory, while the Victorians proved to be too strong for WA's All Nations team and ran out winners with a score of 5.14 (44) to WA's 2.2 (14).
The championships also featured an additional 70 plus Indigenous and Multicultural coaches, umpires, managers, physios, trainers and support staff.
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.