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Mel Masters Multicultural Footy

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 2:54 PM by Chris BROWN

West Australian teachers were recognised for their outstanding work in promoting Australian Football in their school communities at the 2017 AFL School Ambassador Awards night at Domain Stadium on Thursday, August 10. In front of a supportive crowd of school and community football representatives, including special guests from Fremantle Football Club, the West Coast Eagles and Member for Bicton Lisa O’Malley MLA, 30 finalists were acknowledged and six category winners announced. 5 Teachers from the Demons District were nominated as finalists across the following 6 categories -



Most Outstanding First Year AFL School Ambassador 

Trent Pottinger, Lynwood SHS 

Most Outstanding Primary AFL School Ambassador

Nuria Ushoroff, Australian Islamic College Kewdale

Most Outstanding Secondary AFL School Ambassador

Karen Partridge, Thornlie SHS

Most Outstanding Indigenous AFL Program

Simon Nimmo, Yule Brook College/Wirrpanda Foundation

Most Outstanding Female AFL Program

Simon Nimmo, Yule Brook College/Wirrpanda Foundation

Most Outstanding Multicultural Program 

Melanie Robinson, St Norbert College

In a great result for the Demons District, Melanie Robinson brought home the Most Outstanding Multicultural Program Award for 2017. Melanie, who is Head of Sport at the school, helped create the inaugural Naitanui In School Academy to over 150 students in collaboration with West Coast Eagles and WAFC Staff. St Norbert College situated in Queens Park has one of the highest number of students with a non-English speaking background at 39%. The School continues to work closely at creating links to local community club Queens Park, to give more students the opportunity of playing football. The Academy ran for 6 weeks in term 2 with the entire Year 7 cohort. Students were exposed to training from WAFC Development Staff, AFLW and AFL players with all students receiving a wristband and drink bottle as recognition of participating in the program. 

The School already features heavily in the West Coast Eagles Next Gen Academy with over 10 students registered with the club. Including young stars such as Nyika John & Noel Mancuveni who are in the Naitanui Elite Program and WAFL Colts/16s at Perth FC. These achievements wouldn’t be possible without the strong support and enthusiasm from Melanie and her PE staff.

Manger of Game Development at the West Coast Eagles & former 2006 Premiership Player Adam Selwood said " Congratulations to Melanie and her team on the inaugural Naitanui In School Academy. Her contribution has been outstanding and it is great to see ambassadors being recognised appropriately for their efforts. We look forward to growing the program off such a strong foundation in future years"

WAFC Football Development Officer Chris Brown agrees "Melanie has done a fantastic job assisting WAFC and WCE staff in creating the inaugural Naitanui In School Academy. To have over 150 students from the Year 7 age group, the majority of which are born overseas and don’t play footy engaged in the program was outstanding. Without the dedication and hard work of School Teachers like Mel and her team, we wouldn’t be able to expose our game to new markets. We are extremely proud of her efforts and very excited to grow the program further in 2018"


AFLSA Program Infomation

The AFL Schools Ambassador Program encourages schools and communities to work together to develop and promote Australian Football in the classroom and on the sporting field. All registered teachers are eligible to become a AFL School Ambassador. The WAFC provides training, equipment and support, free of charge.

For more information click here


West Coast Eagles Next Generation Academy Infomation

The West Coast Eagles Next Generation “Naitanui Academy” is aimed at participants from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) backgrounds – where a player or both parents are born in a non-English speaking country. Players aged between 12 years – 16 years (Born 2000-2005) and residing in metro zones aligned to East Perth, Perth, Subiaco and Swan Districts or regional zones aligned to East Perth, Perth, Subiaco, Swan Districts and Claremont’s Great Southern district. Whilst we embrace participation from all groups, we can eventually gain draft concessions for players of designated ethnic heritage under AFL rules: For more information and to register, head to