First female indigenous AFL youth program launches

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An innovative program aimed at encouraging road safety awareness, leadership and wellbeing among young Indigenous people has been launched in NSW.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said more than 20 girls between the ages of 11 and 16 participated in the first of two female Indigenous Youth Leadership Programs, held at Homebush on the weekend.

“This exciting initiative supported by Transport for NSW has James Bell from the Sydney Swans teaming up with GWS Giants stars Zac Williams and Delma Gisu to lead development camps for young aspiring players,” Mr Toole said.

“More than half of the girls in attendance are from regional NSW and often spend a long time on the road travelling to games.

“The program encourages road safety awareness, leadership and wellbeing through workshops focused on decision-making and leadership principles, goal setting, and culture and identity workshops.

“It is hoped the girls who attended will feel empowered to go back to their own communities and encourage others to make better decisions on our roads and help drive the road toll Towards Zero.”

GWS Giants star and program ambassador Delma Gisu said she was grateful for the ongoing support from Transport for NSW to help the valuable program continue.

"I'm excited to be an ambassador for the first ever female AFL NSW/ACT Indigenous Youth Leadership Program,” Ms Gisu said.

“We know that girls who participate in this program will have the confidence to be strong leaders, both on and off the field and I'm honoured to be a part of it.”

TfNSW has been a partner of the AFL NSW/ACT since 2014, harnessing the power of football to bring young people together from Indigenous communities across NSW.

The Indigenous Youth Leadership Program is one of many initiatives funded by the NSW Government to help raise awareness of road trauma in Aboriginal communities by encouraging safe behaviours on the road.