Last year, we successfully completed a mentoring program with the AFL Indigenous Woomeras program.

The Woomeras program is designed to reflect what the traditional Aboriginal tool is designed to do to the spear. The Woomera gives the spear power, it gives it strength and it gives it direction.

Underpinned by the guiding principles of the Woomera, the program was aimed at female participants to achieve increases in a sense of cultural identity, resilience, effective communication and capacity regards decision making.

The mentoring program involved both mentors and mentees participating in a series of online training sessions, monthly development sessions and 1:1 mentor session at a minimum of twice per month. The online sessions covered a series of topics including effective communication, teamwork, resilience, mental health, healthy relationships and social media.

As a result of the successful program, the mentees really benefited from the program.

  • 100% of participants felt more connected to their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage
  • 100% of participants felt more confident in their identity
  • 100% of participants felt a sense belonging to the group and the Woomeras Program
  • 91% of participants believed the program helped them with self-reliance, self-control, friendship, empathy, and courage
  • 91% of participants believed the program helped them identify and learn effective ways of communicating
  • 100% of participants felt confident to identify and be able to make informed decisions
  • 100% of participants believed the sessions had been relevant to them and their lives and had shown them alternative ways of viewing challenges/obstacles

"Yes, it is, it is meeting my expectations of teaching us about our culture, strengthening the bonds between our sisters and elders. While also teaching us about leadership I find the personal friendship very important as well" – Program participant

100% of the mentors also felt supported in their matches, found the training at the beginning very informative and useful and communicated with their mentees regularly. Mentees and mentors reported that they remained in touch with one another via phone or video calls, text messages or face-to-face (for those within close proximity).

Ladder has recently commenced the second program, which will continue to develop and enhance on the female players skills on and off the football field. 26 young women are currently completing the program on Sunday afternoons with the program to conclude in late November, followed by a graduation in December. So far, the female participants have completed sessions on Mentee training and setting SMART goals and have been really engaged.

We look forward to working with the Woomeras program again and supporting more our young female Indigenous participants over the coming months.