Adelaide Crows Foundation

Kuwarna visit APY Lands


The Kuwarna Foundation spent the second week of the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round on the ground in the APY Lands delivering its Crows on Country program and piloting important work with the Nganampa Health Council.

Kuwarna Indigenous Player Development Manager and former AFL footballer Shane Edwards was on hand to support the trip and to learn more about the work the Foundation does with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

Crows on Country is an adaptation of the Kuwarna Foundation’s successful STEMfooty program which draws on Australian kids’ love of AFL to inspire an appreciation, understanding, and passion for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics underlying the sport.

A recently announced partnership with the Anangu Communities Foundation means the program is delivered to more schools and further enhanced, with Anangu educators employed to assist with bilingual resources and the integration of in-depth cultural or Anangu knowledge.

In addition to delivering the Crows on Country program, the Kuwarna Foundation has worked with the Nganampa Health Council and St Peters Girls School to educate students on Acute Rheumatic Fever & Rheumatic Heart Disease (ARF/RHD).

ARF is an illness that results from the Group A Streptococcus bacterium, which causes a generalised inflammation response in the body, affecting the heart, brain, joints and skin and is directly related to sanitation, overcrowding, living conditions, waste disposal & hygiene.

According to the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare,  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up approximately more than 92 per cent of ARF/RHD diagnoses in Australia, with nine out of 10 diagnoses being children aged between five and 14 years.  

St Peters Girls School, who had students on the trip, contributed to the purchase of hand washing kits and a new station has been added to the existing program to engage kids in learning about hygiene and how it is linked to ARF/RHD.

Chronic Disease Nurse at the Nganampa Health Council, Kristy Lavery said the collaboration would make a real difference to the local community.

“Through collaboration with the Kuwarna Foundation Crows on Country program and St Peter’s Girls School, we have been able to develop and deliver a pilot program that engages and educates students on germ transmission and hand hygiene, using sport, science and technology,” Laverty said.

“With this new partnership, we hope to strengthen and safeguard the health of our communities by nurturing the importance of hand hygiene, as children in the APY Lands are disproportionately affected by ARF and RHD.”

Edwards said he had enjoyed his time on the trip and was eager to return.

“The regular visits the club does to the APY Lands are so important and I really enjoyed seeing the work the Foundation does here firsthand,” Edwards said.

“It’s been great to be involved with the kids up here, they have loved the activities we have done with them, and it’s been great to be able to put some smiles on the kids’ faces.”