Sawyer and Charlie to have special role at AFL game

Sawyer Berd, Michael Long and Charlie Wunugmurra

Congratulations to Sawyer Berd from Kalkarindji and Charlie Wunugmurra from Lake Evella who were the deserving recipients of the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre program's  'Leadership Award' after spending a week in Darwin.

Sawyer will join Long in presenting the official match ball to the umpires at Saturday night's AFL game in Darwin between Melbourne and Adelaide, while Charlie has the special honour of tossing the coin before the game. 

Twenty-six students from the two remote communities came to Darwin this week for the Make Your Mark Leadership Program, which combines AFL-themed literacy and numeracy lessons with team-building activities, healthy-lifestyle education, AFL game development and NT Thunder mentoring sessions.

On Friday morning every student was presented with a certificate for their active participation in the program but it was extra special this week with AFL legend and NT favourite, Michael Long on-hand to hand them out. A contingent of local and national media also captured the event, with five students from each community also being awarded special 'AFL Values' awards.

The special leadership awards were reserved until the end and when they were announced going the way of Sawyer and Charlie the students cheered and clapped. 

Sawyer's teachers had this to say about him and his efforts this week; "Sawyer has demonstrated great leadership qualities this week. He expresses himself clearly, includes others in games and has displayed great initiative in the physical activities. Sawyer is always happy to have a laugh with his peers and teachers alike."

Charlie's teacher also explained why he was the deserving recipient of Lake Evella's top award; "Charlie has shown the five Michael Long program values throughout the whole week. His resilience and commitment in the classroom and on the field earned him this special reward. I hope Charlie will enjoy the special moment tomorrow and make all his family and Lake Evella school proud!"

The MLLLC Make your Mark Leadership Program encompasses 15 weeks of community-based education and leadership lessons and a one-week education residential program at the MLLLC. AFLNT’s team of Remote Development Managers support the delivery of the community-based elements of these programs

The program simulates a short-term boarding school experience and includes visits to and engagement in, classes at local Darwin boarding schools, visits to Parliament House, the museum, the beach and other local attractions. These experiences help to develop student confidence and awareness of activities and opportunities available to them.