SA Gathering Takes Indigenous Trainees To New Heights
The recent South Australia (SA) Indigenous Gathering took trainees to new heights with an epic climb over Adelaide oval. But it wasn’t just the climb that left trainees feeling inspired.
“The Indigenous gathering was really special because it gave all of us Indigenous trainees the chance to get together and share our journey,” said SA Commonwealth Bank trainee, Serena Waters.
“We discussed our stories, we talked about our achievements and we offered each other support,” she added.
AFL SportsReady hosts gatherings in each state every year to bring together Indigenous trainees like Serena, AFL SportsReady Staff, and host employers for a jam-packed day of activities, cultural sessions, inspiring guest speakers and more.
For SA, this year’s gathering involved climbing Adelaide Oval rooftop followed with a talk by former SA trainee, Izak Rankine, who currently plays for Gold Coast Suns and a special family connection session to end the day.
“We had an amazing time climbing the Adelaide Oval rooftop and most of us were pushed outside of our comfort zone because we were up so high, so it was a really rewarding experience,” said Serena.
“It was also awesome to have Izak Rankine join us and talk about his time as a trainee and to hear how he reached his ultimate goal – playing AFL football. All us trainees felt very inspired by his journey and we all took a lot from that session.”
For Serena and many other trainees, it was the family connection session that left the biggest mark.
“This was a really important and beautiful session for all trainees although it was a really difficult theme for the trainees who have grandparents who were a part of the stolen generation,” said Serena.
In this session trainees were given the resources and tools they need to research their family heritage.
“Through this session the host employers who came along gained a deeper understanding of why family and culture is so important to us.”
“As time goes on family knowledge seems like it is drifting further and further away from our young people. So, this really meant a lot to us as we had the chance to look into our ancestry a little deeper and gain an even greater appreciation of where we came from.”
Angela Binns, Senior Manager of Technical Services at Flinders University, was one of the hosts who joined trainees and staff on the day.
“Seeing my trainee’s enthusiasm to trace her ancestry from the resources provided by the SA Museum was very moving,” said Angela.
Angela decided to come along to foster her relationship with her trainee, Cheyenne, and build on her Indigenous knowledge.
(Angela with her trainee, Cheyenne)
“The trainees felt very special, valued and important at the gathering and it really showed me just how supportive and professional AFL SportsRedy are and how deeply these traineeships mean to these young people,” she said.
DATE: 31st of October 2019
AUTHOR: Marissa Pagliarello
IMAGE: AFLSR staff, trainees and employers ontop of Adelaide Oval