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Naitanui surprises La Salle College students

Jessica van Beijnum  November 6, 2017 4:15 PM

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Nic Naitanui recently visited students participating in the AGL Aboriginal Leadership Program

Nic Naitanui surprised a group of La Salle College students with a special appearance during their last AGL Aboriginal Leadership Program session at Domain Stadium recently.

The students' visit to Subiaco Oval served as a reward to the dedicated cohort who successfully completed the six-session school-based workshop throughout the year.

In addition to meeting Naitanui, the students were treated to an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Eagles' training facilities.

West Coast schools and community coordinator James Grabski said he was impressed by the students’ dedication to the program.

“It was terrific to work with this group of students and watch them grow in confidence while developing their leadership qualities,” Grabski said.

“A number of the students are boarders from the remote East Kimberley region, so they were particularly interested to hear how Francis Watson, who hails from Balgo, was adapting to life as a West Coast Eagles player.”

Grabski said the group also enjoyed hearing about the club’s ongoing commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

“The club is extremely committed to the way we acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, and this program in particular focuses on young Aboriginal people developing their cultural awareness and identity by being challenged in ways that increase their knowledge and understanding,” he said.

Naitanui said he was thrilled to meet the students and hear more about where they all came from.

“It was great to talk to the kids today, particularly given Frankie Watson’s background and connection with the school,” Naitanui said.

“Hopefully we see some of these young boys or girls follow a similar pathway and develop into AFL and AFLW players, or achieve in their career of choice.”

The AGL Aboriginal Leadership Program is designed to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Years 8-10.

It is a six-session, values-based leadership program that focuses on developing leadership through the topics of cultural identity, goal setting, teamwork and nutrition.   

A number of other schools also participated in the program this year, including Swan View Senior High School, Governor Stirling Senior High School, Wanneroo Secondary College and Belmont City College.