Source: Sydney Swans Media.

The Sydney Swans hosted some special guests last week, with more than 20 students from central Australia visiting the SCG.


The students were part of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) program that brings students who have reached targets around attendance and school engagement to Sydney for a week, to attend career-building workshops. The students are also exposed to organisations such as the Swans that have a history of incorporating Indigenous cultural awareness into their workplace.

The group hails from Hermannsburg in central Australia, which is known locally as Ntaria and is located 125km west of Alice Springs.

Sydney Swans staff member Alex Bouttell gave the students a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Club’s facilities and exposed the young people to some of the realities of life as a full-time professional AFL footballer.

Bouttell and Swans player Dean Towers have recently returned from spending a week in the Northern Territory as part of another NASCA program that brings socially aware volunteers from across Australia to build on the strength of one of six remote communities. This program operates four times annually and many of the young people engaged in the NT-based program then come to Sydney at the end of the school year.



NASCA Program Support Officer Hannah Isaac said the organisation aims to allow Aboriginal young people to gain skills that will allow them to build a strong, self-determined future.

“This camp, although a reward for school attendance, is also about building confidence. It’s also giving these students the chance to use their skills in an environment they’re not really familiar with, which builds resilience as well”.

In addition to partaking in structured training, the students also undertook an Aboriginal cultural tour at the Sydney Observatory, participated in an adventure challenge at Taronga Zoo and went surfing.

NASCA is a not-for-profit organisation based in Redfern that operates programs in diverse Indigenous communities across Australia. The organisation is in its 21st year and uses the power of sport and cultural pride to build the educational, employment and health aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

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