Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander netballers are set to have greater access to education pathways, following the recent partnership between Netball SA and Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education.
Wirltu Yarlu is responsible for educating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about higher education options, as well as providing support to students during their time at the University of Adelaide.
Dean of Indigenous Research and Education Strategy at the University of Adelaide, Professor Shane Hearn, said the collaboration, aimed at increasing student awareness of higher education opportunities, would nurture and assist students in understanding how they can access university pathways.
“We know that from a stronger education comes a more meaningful, more prosperous and fulfilling life,” he said.
“We’ll be encouraging and supporting the next generation of young Indigenous leaders within the South Australian netball community to consider a university education.”
Professor Hearn believes that aligning education pathways with sport will assist in driving personal growth and change amongst students.
“Sport and education share a lot of similarities and can teach you a lot about persistence and hard work,” he said.
“We hope that this partnership will show our young people the immense extent of their potential and help them to thrive in all aspects of their life”.
Netball SA CEO Ben Scales said the two organisations are dedicated to enriching communities and creating opportunities for individuals to be the best they can be.
“In addition to leading to greater employment opportunities, studying at university presents a number of holistic benefits to students to help them in all aspects of their lives,” he said.
“Attending university can expand a student’s social networks, open their eyes to new interests and build their confidence.
“Netball SA has already enjoyed a successful partnership with the University of Adelaide through its support of the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball Indigenous Round and teaching SAASTA Netball Academy students about the options to attend university.
“For some students, they would not have seen attending university as a real possibility until hearing from the University. The partnership with Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education will build on this great work.”
The University of Adelaide presented the Most Valuable Player Award for game between the SAASTA Netball Academy and Pedare College. The game was the curtain raiser for the Adelaide Thunderbirds 2018 Indigenous Round match, where the team wore a dress designed by Aboriginal artist Bobbi Lockyer. To recognise the University’s support of the game, Professor Shane Hearn was presented a 2018 Adelaide Thunderbirds Indigenous dress.