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Changing lives: Datjala Work Camp supporting Djarrak FC

The Djarrak Football Club has committed to offering prisoners from Nhulunbuy's low risk Datjala Work Camp with an ongoing opportunity to play in the local Gove AFL and gain positive experiences and associated rewards through a disciplined and structured football environment.

In 2015, prisoners from Datjala Work Camp played for Djarrak Football Club with feedback from participants and camp staff indicating a positive experience for those involved with the team. The camp provided some key position players that went on to win the premiership in early September and it is hoped that 2016 Gove AFL season will offer similar positive outcomes for future participants. Football is a privilege for participants and they adhere to strict behaviour guidelines set by the Department of Correctional Services staff.

The relationship has had ongoing support from Djarrak Football Club manager Danny Beadman. Djarrak Football Club is proud to offer structured guidance and empowerment opportunities through using football as a vehicle for improved social behaviours for Datjala Camp participants and local based players alike.

Please see below Question and Answer Session with 2015 Gove AFL Premiership Player Jayson Wilson:

Hi Jayson. 2015 was your first season playing AFL football. Did you enjoy your experience with Djarrak Football Club?

"Yeah, I sure did. It was a great experience. Obviously I was still learning a little bit about the game but I love challenges, if you put your mind to it you can do anything and winning the premiership last year was just a bonus. Not many people can achieve that in their first season of AFL. I just feel blessed."

Would you say the discipline of a team environment has helped you personally? If so, how?

"Well I believe that discipline is a key factor in all team sports. Having the support of the Camp and the Club has helped me to believe in myself and to get the best in life and the need to work hard for it."

What is your impression of the Gove AFL supporters. Football is like a religion here on the Gove Peninsula would you agree?

"Yeah, I definitely agree, they go crazy for footy out here. Its amazing how many people come out to the game for such a small town and you think to yourself - where did all these people come from haha, and hearing Djarrak FC supporters screaming your name and cheering you on! Its overwhelming to be recognised in the community."

Playing football is a privilege for participants from the camp. Would you recommend playing football for Djarrak Football Club to other camp members?

"Yeah I already have. I told them to come and play for Djarrak FC and in saying that, half the players in the team are from the camp. I also told them we won the competition last year so that helped with their decision. I honestly recommend it to anyone that wants to play AFL and loves sport and wants to stay fit and active. Its a great club. Everyone is friendly and everyone gets along with eachother, that's what its all about."

Has your family heard about your 2015 Premiership win. Were they surprised to hear you are now an AFL player?

"Oh yeah, they definitely they heard about it! I called them as soon as I got back from the game. It was my Mums birthday as well, so they were very happy and proud of me. It was a great day and a memorable one too! Yeah they were a little bit surprised that I'm an AFL player now, coz coming from Sydney its all about Rugby League down there, I've been playing since I was 9 years old but up here its all about AFL. I love it. Its the fastest sport in the world and can go from one end to the other, so yeah, I'm really enjoying it at the moment."

What are you hoping to achieve with Djarrak Football Club this season?

"Hopefully another premiership haha, winning it back to back would be one of the greatest achievements in Djarrak history. It hasn't happened since the 70's or 80's so yeah, it would be great to be kept in the record books."

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