Garnduwa Amboorny Wirnan Aboriginal Corporation hosted the Making Her Mark Tjurabalan Women’s Football Carnival in Balgo, Western Australia, which empowers women and girls through football and health education.

Garnduwa was established in 1992 and is a not-for-profit that promotes and supports sport and recreation in the Kimberley region.

The event brought women and girls from Balgo, Mulan and Billiluna together to engage in community workshops, football drills, and skills and capacity building workshops.

Photo Supplied by Garnduwa Amboorny Wirnan Aboriginal Corporation. Photo Credit photographer is Charlotte Ruth.

Making Her Mark was launched in 2019 and visits 12 remote Kimberley communities.

Garnduwa says the aim of the program is to create a safe space to yarn and listen to Aboriginal women in community and understand perceived and real barriers to participating in sport.

Women In Sport Coordinator Katherine Dann said she was very happy with the carnival.

“Having over 120 women come together and make up the four teams was really, really good to see,” she said.

“It’s the first time in a few years Central Desert women had the opportunity to compete in a competition/carnival.”

“It was extremely positive for me to hear feedback from other communities, saying they want to host the next carnival, which will be scheduled for next year.”

The star guest of the day was Fremantle Dockers AFLW player Jasmin Stewart who went out to support the event which concluded with a football tournament.

Fremantle Dockers AFLW player Jasmin Stewart at Festival. Photo by Charlotte Ruth.

Leadership Program Manager for Garnduwa Layla Yu said the event provided an opportunity to connect women with female mentors, role models, and leadership support.

“It’s an opportunity for us to have grassroots conversations with people in community, specifically women, to talk about ways we can support and up-skill communities in areas of their choice to one day be in a position to coordinate their own sport and recreation activities for their community.”

Garnduwa has more deadly initiatives in the works like the Female Football Talent Pathway 2022 which will develop young women into leaders by growing their skills at a community level.

They will also host their annual Making Her Mark Forum and Making Her Mark Roadshow in 2022, where they’ll continue to engage with women across the Kimberley.

By Teisha Cloos