Ahead of the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round this weekend, the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation is excited to launch the Nallei Jerring program for 2022.
Meaning ‘join and unite’, Nallei Jerring is a program that does just that - providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Melbourne and Victoria’s West to become leaders in their community by learning more about their culture and connecting to country.
The program sees participants explore a number of different topics across four months, such as teamwork, leadership, gender equity, employment and mental health. The practical element of the program allows participants to connect to country through various excursions, camps and sport experiences.
Tyler Somerville, a 14 year old Parperloihener man from the Palawa nation, took part in the 2021 edition, and said he learned about his culture and made new friends thanks to participating.
“I learned about my history throughout (the program) and about leadership and speaking up,” he said.
“The best thing was meeting new people, (but my favourite part) was rotating through set tasks and learning about what we do out in the world.”
Marayne Muller, Diversity and Youth Officer at the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation said that the program was an exciting opportunity for young Indigenous people to learn more about their culture in a fun and safe environment.
“The program allows young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to explore their background, learn more about who they are, and ultimately provides them with a toolkit to become the strongest version of themselves - which enables them to become leaders in their community,” she said.
“The program is a culturally safe space where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people can unite and have fun together in an inclusive, welcoming and supportive environment.
Having successfully been delivered in Melbourne’s inner-west for nine years, the program is set to run in the Bulldogs’ second home Ballarat for this first time this year, providing young Indigenous people from Regional Victoria with an opportunity to get involved.
A range of past participants from the Nallei Jerring program will also be celebrated with a lap of honour at quarter-time of this Saturday’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round clash between the Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast Suns at MARS Stadium.
The Nallei Jerring program will kick off this July school holidays in Footscray, Melton and Ballarat, with registrations now open. To learn more and get involved, visit here.