National grads wrap up

National grads wrap up

National grads wrap up

More than 500 trainees, including 121 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, have just become a part of the AFL SportsReady alumni family.

Over the past two months we have seen each State hold a special ceremony for their graduating trainees, to celebrate their achievements and recognise the remarkable support given from their host employers.

Queensland kicked off the season in March with 147 trainees, followed by South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria in April, before finishing off in Western Australia in May. All events were a huge success, inspiring those who attended through the extraordinary performances and stories from former trainees.

This year’s theme was ‘Find Your Future’, a message to empower young people to follow their career dreams and future aspirations through an AFL SportsReady traineeship.

Each year the States bestow the most outstanding individuals with an honorary award, including the Trainee of the Year Award, The School-Based Trainee of the Year Award and The Hostplus Rising Star Award. Queensland also offered the Chris Johnson Cup AFL Cape York Award, which is given to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander trainee, aged between 16-30 years of age, who has excelled in the workplace and demonstrated incredible initiative and leadership qualities.

AFL SportsReady CEO James Montgomery congratulated the new graduates.

“With every year, a new cohort of AFL SportsReady graduates, equipped with new skills, knowledge and industry experience are ready to embark on the next part of their career journeys. With every year, I am impressed and inspired by their stories, their passion and all that they have achieved during their traineeship,” said Mr Montgomery.

None of this is possible without the work of our staff who are dedicated to helping our trainees and students get the best outcomes and our host employers and partners who constantly support our cause and provide our young people with endless opportunities.

To view photos from all the graduations please click here:

The 2017 Winners:


Jemma Whitnall (QLD Rugby League) –Trainee of the Year
Dakota Mundine (Clarence Valley Council) –School-based Trainee of the Year
Kiani Raklander (Somerset College) –  Hostplus Rising Star
Jane Youngs (Portrait Store) –  Hostplus Rising Star
Ford Clancy (Brisbane Broncos) – Chris Johnson Cup AFL Cape York Award

South Australia:

Ashleigh Darrie (Alexandria Council) – Trainee of the Year
Josh Thomas (ANZ) – Host Plus Rising Star
Lauren Sibley (Norwood Swim School) – School Based Trainee of the Year


Elana Leske (Museums Australia) – ACT Trainee of the Year
James Moir (AFL NSW/ACT – Sydney West) – Trainee of the Year
Kristy Butler (ANZ) – School-based Trainee of the Year
Matthew Keevil-Scott (AFL NSW/ACT – Sydney West) – Hostplus Rising Star


Aleisha Coe (Back in Motion) – Hostplus Rising Star
Ben Ling (AFL Tasmania) – Trainee of the Year
Corey Burgess (East Derwent Primary School) – School-Based Trainee of the Year


Hugh Barrow (St Bede’s College) –Trainee of the Year
Katie Martin (St Margarets School) –Host plus Rising Star


Jesse Tippet (Subiaco Football Development Council) – Trainee of the Year
Lance Dann (ANZ) – Hostplus Rising Star

If you are an AFL SportsReady alumni stay in touch with us through our LinkedIn alumni page: