AFL SportsReady launch the Chris Johnson Award

AFL SportsReady launch the Chris Johnson Award

AFL SportsReady launch the Chris Johnson Award

On Thursday, 12 March the achievements of 47 Queensland AFL SportsReady trainees were celebrated at a special ceremony at the Queensland Cricketers Club.

Out of the graduating class of 2014/15, 15 trainees were Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander.

A number of awards were presented on the night including the Chris Johnson Award, a new award for 2014/15.

Awarded to an Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander trainee aged between 18-30 years of age who has excelled in the workplace, is hard working, takes initiative, is a good role model and leader and someone who can have a yarn about their experiences.

The winner will have the opportunity to travel to Bamaga at the tip of Cape York (Pajinka) in October for the annual Chris Johnson Cup, a round-robin tournament that features Indigenous players from Cairns and Cape York.

The trip involves travelling some 2000k’s in four wheel drive vehicles in the outback and visit towns and areas such as Mareeba, Laura, Coen, Bamaga, New Mapoon, Loyalty Beach, Archer River, Jardine River, Musgrave Station. Bramwell Junction, Lakefield and Pajinka (the Tip).

The winner will have the opportunity to take in the sights and importantly assist the team and staff with duties over the course of the trip.

This year’s inaugural Chris Johnson Award goes to Lyneeka Malone.

Lyneeka Malone completed a school based traineeship in 2013 at Work Connections Disability Services in Mackay studying a Certificate III in Business.

Following that she was unemployed until AFL SportsReady were able to assist her into a traineeship role with AFL Queensland in the Northern city where she is currently engaged in a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation

She had a difficult time growing up, having to help care for her mother after a car accident left her seriously injured, but that didn’t stop Lyneeka’s determination for working fulltime in Sport and Recreation.

“I have really enjoyed working with the AFL as well as Work Connections working with people with disabilities and helping them out and just seeing them smile, that was the main thing, said Lyneeka.”

She now plays footy, loves her job and is actively trying to get more girls to play AFL in the region.

Lyneeka is now more motivated than ever to work in the industry and dreams of one day taking on the Regional Manager position in Mackay for AFL Queensland.

State Manger of AFL SportsReady Shane Johnson hopes, “Lyneeka will benefit enormously from this trip and it will really enhance her personal development and confidence.”

DATE: Thursday 19 March, 2015
ARTICLE: Fiona McNaught
IMAGE: Inaugural Chris Johnson Award winner, Lyneeka Malone, Former Brisbane Lions Triple Premiership Player, Chris Johnson and AFL SportsReady State Manger, Shane Johnson.