“Gravel to Greatness” Review Underway

 AFL players from the Kimberley at the recent Indigenous All Stars Match in Perth- Josh Hill of the West Coast Eagles (l) and Jack Martin of the Gold Coast Suns (r)

AFL players from the Kimberley at the recent Indigenous All Stars Match in Perth- Josh Hill of the West Coast Eagles (l) and Jack Martin of the Gold Coast Suns (r)

The Australian Football League (AFL), Western Australian Football Commission (WAFC) and Kimberley Football Association (KFA) have agreed to undertake a joint review of how football is operating in the Kimberley and how it can be improved.

In 2009 a future directions document, Gravel to Greatness, was published and it provided a blueprint for the development of football in the Kimberley. KFA Chairperson, Michael Albert, commented, “TheGravel to Greatness blueprint helped bring football in the Kimberley under the one umbrella and resulted in significant improvement in the way we manage football across the Kimberley. However, all parties agree that after five years it is time to review what progress we have made and re-set the direction of football for the next five to ten years”.

A Steering Committee has been set-up to manage the review process and includes key staff from the AFL, WAFC, KFA and Garnduwa. A local reference group has been created and includes Wayne Paul of the East Kimberley Football Association, Trish McKay of the Central Kimberley Football Association, Geoff Davis of the West Kimberley Football Association, Brett Claudius, Sonny Ozies of Garnduwa-Derby, Darren Muir of Clontarf and Claremont Football Club CEO, Dean Horsington.

Former Kimberley resident, Alan Beattie, has been appointed as an independent consultant to undertake the review. Alan recently travelled across the Kimberley running numerous workshops in towns and remote community locations gaining input to the process from a wide range of Kimberley residents. Further details regarding the review can be obtained by contacting Alan atabeatt13@outlook.com or 0426 105 351 or Mick Albert on 0418 938 167. Alan advised, “We are seeking as much input as we can as all parties want to see footy numbers in the Kimberley grow and for more players to go onto the elite level. As part of the review process we are inviting people to submit written observations and recommendations. I encourage all people with an interest in the future of football in the Kimberley to contact me and obtain a copy of the terms of reference for the review and then provide a written submission”. Submissions can be sent to Alan Beattie through the end of March 2015.

The football across the Kimberley review will kick off in April 2015. “The review is critical to the future of our game, however we are very aware of the current need to support the footy associations and clubs,” commented Michael Albert who has been appointed interim General Manager for Football in the Kimberley until the review is completed.

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