From the General Manager, May 2023

It’s been a huge start to the year for the Tjindu Foundation, with our students involved in some big opportunities and milestones, and representing themselves with pride.

You may have seen earlier in the year that four Tjindu students were part of The Advertiser Teen Parliament thanks to support from our major partner RAA and The Advertiser Foundation. This has undoubtedly been our biggest piece of news.

Teen Parliament gave students from around South Australia the opportunity to present ideas they want to see happen to support the next generation living in the state. This was a great opportunity to represent themselves, their schools and their fellow Tjindu Aboriginal AFL Academy teammates, as well as the Tjindu Foundation. We congratulate Mackayla Harrison, Tayah Coulthard-Todd, Jordan Horne and Jackson Coaby for participating in this year’s event.

We also congratulate Tayah and Jackson for being among the recipients of $10,000 education scholarships, thanks to their impressive calls to action for more support and resourcing for equal access to education, and support services, for Aboriginal young people.


We have been busy forging new partnerships with South Australian companies to further our work recently, with a new program Parnggi Yaluwar Porlar (PYP) to provide 100 places over the next two years for free swimming and surf lifesaving education thanks to the support of Surf Life Saving SA and the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing.  Participating students will receive packs for both swimming and surf lifesaving lessons. Water safety is a critical skill that many young people receive during their school years, but we’re proud to help advance education in this area working with our partners to provide greater access to Aboriginal young people between the ages of 7-12.

We’ve also welcomed a new Automotive Partner in CMI Toyota.  CMI will partner with the Tjindu Foundation for the next three years as our vehicle supplier, including the provision of a Toyota Hiace Commuter, which will be branded in a new Tjindu livery. Make sure you give us a wave if you see the team on the road!

Our major partner BHP has also extended its support for the Tjindu Foundation and will provide new tablets to our students to participate in coursework throughout the year. Thanks once again to all our partners for their continuing support of our work.

Tjindu Foundation Academy coach Shaun Baker.

The Team

We’ve had some new appointments to our program. We have welcomed Sean Baker on board as our Academy head coach and high performance coach. Sean boasts an impressive resume as the Founder of PEAQ, which operates in Port Adelaide and has supported the Port Adelaide FC and Adelaide Crows, Adelaide 36ers, Adelaide Lightning, Australian Lacrosse team, Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy and NRL SA. Sean brings the best of both worlds: teaching both footy skills, tactics, and the importance of good preparation and physical maintenance to our student players.  He’ll be supported by AFL 200-gamer Lindsay Thomas (North Melbourne/Port Adelaide) who is the Tjindu Foundation’s new assistant coach this year.

We also welcome Serena Waters on board as our new trainee. Serena is an accomplished athlete, having played high-grade basketball for South Plains College in Texas, as a train-on players for the Sydney Uni Flames in the WNBL and playing for the Woodville Warriors in NBL1. She also joined Glenelg as a player in the SANFLW competition for the 2023 season.

Our programs will also be supported by several high-calibre mentors and educators this year. Joey Wyatt joins our program as our Academy mentor this year. Joey supports the Aboriginal Basketball Academy in a similarly-styled role, and will be an inviable leader for our students throughout 2023. In the classroom, we welcome our new teachers Jasmin Parsons, Jack Redden and Desley Edwards – each leading cultural experts in their respective fields – who will provide cultural education support each week of our program.

Sadly, we farewelled Tyran Hill this year after he joined our friends at the GO Foundation (operated by Adam Goodes and Micky O’Loughlin) in a new role supporting their work. We wish Tyran all the best – Goodesy and Micky O have got a great one!


The Academy achieved a real milestone in Term 1 when we achieved a complete, winning day against one of our match opponents. After going down to Henley High School’s football program early in the term, we took on Nazareth Catholic Community’s boys’ and girls’ teams and claimed victories in both matches.

This is a great reward for the hard work our Academy has been putting in, and we congratulate all our players on their successful performance, especially in our striking, new-look guernseys, which you’ll notice put our new logo designed by local graphic designer Bree Ah Chee front-and-centre.

This term, our boys and girls will take on St Kilda’s Next Generation Academy on our visit to Victoria and, later in the term, Immanuel College – keep your eyes open for pics on our social pages!

Coming up this term

Tjindu STRONG will return to the APY Lands this term after spending time in Far West Coast communities in Term 1. Meanwhile our Academy students will participate in several immersive experiences. First up, The History Trust of South Australia will deliver their impact training. This allows our students to learn about the way immigration and colonisation – both forms of migration – impacted Aboriginal people.

Then, the Academy will head to Melbourne/Naarm on our first excursion for the year. As part of this, the team will participate in the Dreamtime at the ‘G game between Essendon and Richmond, and play games against the St Kilda Football Club’s Next Generation Academy. This is one of our first major trips since the establishment of the Tjindu Foundation mid-pandemic, and so represents a major milestone in the development of our Academy program.

Following from the excitement of our camp to Melbourne we move into our Art segments of education and are very excited to have Elizabeth Close, Shane Cook and Pat Caruso all facilitate sessions with out Aboriginal AFL Academy Students.

Thanks to all our supporters for following and contributing to our work. With tax time coming up, you can also make a tax-deductible donation to the Tjindu Foundation here.

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