AFL Northern Territory launches NT Women and Girls Action Plan
Australian Football League (AFL) Northern Territory has launched the NT Women and Girls Action Plan, which will strive for equal participation and representation in the sport in the region by 2030.
The Northern Territory has already seen significant growth in women and girls’ participation, with women and girls making up 37.8% of the national average of 19.9%. Some 53% of the AFLNT’s staff roles in leadership positions are also held by women.
The plan also highlighted steps made by the NT in recent years, with the 2022-23 season witnessing every Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) club now having more opportunities for women and girls to play football. Men’s teams such as the Tiwi Bombers, Banks Bulldogs and Jabiru Bombers have introduced teams in the women’s competition.
Other teams such as Waratah, Nightcliff Tigers and Palmerston Magpies each have a girls team in every age group from U10 through to senior women’s football. Elsewhere, the Southern Districts team has 10 dedicated women’s and girls’ teams across all ages, which is higher than the number of men’s and boys’ teams at the club. Darwin-based NAB AFL Auskick centres will also offer an all-girls option for the first time this year.
In only its second season of having a women’s competition, The Barkly Australian Football League will expand to five teams, playing full field and 16-a-side matches. The Tiwi Islands Football League is also making strides to launch a women’s division.
"It is outstanding what has been achieved and the number of opportunities available to women and girls Territory wide.”
Debbie Lee, National Women and Girls Action Plan Lead, said: “The fabric of footy is built by the work of the community. It was great to spend a few days in the NT as it allowed me to get a greater understanding of the number of initiatives and experience the excitement of women and girls football in the community. It is outstanding what has been achieved and the number of opportunities available to women and girls Territory wide.”
The plan will focus on leadership positions within clubs; female coaching programmes; increasing the number of female umpires; increasing investment in infrastructure and new ways to enable even more women and girls to become involved in the game.
Sam Gibson, Head of AFLNT, added: “It was great officially launch the Women and Girls Action Plan which will continue to drive opportunities for women and girls across all aspects of football in the NT. This is a key priority of AFLNT’s and one that is being embraced by all stakeholders across the NT which is fantastic.”