Stronger Together




Netball SA and The University of Adelaide’s Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education are thrilled at the opportunities we’ve had to work together this netball season.

2018 marked the beginning of Netball SA’s partnership with The University of Adelaide through their Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education program. The program is responsible for engaging with and recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and providing support to students during their time at the University of Adelaide.

The partnership with netball would help enhance the outreach and engagement opportunities for the program within the community, particularly through the South Australian Aboriginal and Sports Training Academy (SAASTA) and its Netball SA program. Working together this helped provide a good opportunity to connect potential students with the program to encourage registrations into Karnkanthi Indigenous Education Program and into the university.

‘Karnkanthi’ translates into ‘lifting up’ in the Kaurna language and the education program aims to ensure the success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Years 10, 11 and 12/13, as they transition from their senior years into university.

Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education’s Manager for Outreach and Engagement, Sasha de Kievit says they have loved the opportunity to connect with the SAASTA students.

“We at Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education are committed to providing ongoing inspiration and support to the students in the SAASTA Aboriginal Netball Academy,” said Sasha.

“We love heading out to Priceline Stadium to check in with the girls and hear about how their school and career journeys are progressing. And to talk about how through our Indigenous education program, Karnkanthi, we can work together to build on their resilience, leadership and success skills from years 10-12 to better equip them for a future university pathway with The University of Adelaide.”

2019 has seen some exciting highlights for the partnership, including traveling to Darwin for round 7 of the Suncorp Super Netball League, where the Adelaide Thunderbirds hosted the first ever match in the Northern Territory.

“It was a blast to engage with the Darwin community on a wider level through the Thunderbirds’ Northern Territory round. Visiting local Darwin high schools and academies in the lead up to the event enabled us to speak to students and teachers about all the exciting pathways to a degree at the University of Adelaide. And to discuss the multitude of ways we at Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education can support students from the start of year 10 to achieve their university dreams.”

Round 9 of the competition also marked the club’s indigenous round, with an opportunity to proudly celebrate our indigenous culture at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

“Indigenous round is an opportunity to bring the community together to celebrate something very special, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture. Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education at the University of Adelaide are proud to be a part of this special round of netball.  We loved the opportunity to support the SAASTA students playing the curtain raiser match along with the Thunderbirds team (who looked fierce sporting their Indigenous dresses on-court, designed by APY lands artist Elizabeth Close.”

Netball SA’s Commercial Manager, Teneille Kleinitz, says Netball SA are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education.

“Netball SA has a great alignment with the University of Adelaide, and the Wirltu Yarlu faculty through the engagement of our SAASTA program. The Wirltu Yarlu program is integral to the development of young Indigenous female netballers within our system,” said Teneille.

“Both Netball SA and the University of Adelaide are working to achieve the same goal in further developing the indigenous community, through our netball platform. The integration of Wirltu Yarlu into our Round 7 Adelaide Thunderbirds match played in Darwin was an opportunity that enabled the Outreach and Engagement team to extend their community touchpoints and enhanced our game day experience.”

We have built a strong relationship with the team at Wirltu Yarlu over the past two years, and this has resulted in a number of students progressing to higher education and enrolled in the Karnkanthi Indigenous Education Program.