It is a little known fact about Australian Football League player and former West Coast Eagles star David Wirrpanda that his first love was netball.
But for the sea of pink-clad girls who met him at Friday’s Shell Australia Deadly Sista Girlz program launch in Broome, the confession was a validation of the possibilities in their own dreams.
In a candid interview with the students at Cable Beach Primary school, the famous indigenous role model revealed the source of his inspiration, his grandmother.
Wirrpanda said she had “slapped him into order” during his youth and tirelessly campaigned for Aboriginal people across Australia, from Victoria to the tent embassy in Canberra.
“That’s why I set up this program for young women,” he said.
“Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t.”
Deadly Sista Girlz offers a stable environment for young women to discuss current and personal issues and receive guidance from indigenous role models.
Each girl can be mentored and the program addresses self-esteem, healthy relationships, sexual and women’s health, drug and alcohol abuse, healthy lifestyles and future direction.
The initiative is funded by Shell and David Wirrpanda Foundation