Djarrak Football Club celebrated a successful 2017 Gove AFL season with Shanita Garrawurra and Lee Mununggurr taking home the coveted Women's Best and Fairest and Men's Best and Fairest Awards respectively at the Club Presentation held at the Yirrkala Art Centre last Thursday night. Garrawurra was a powerhouse for the Djarrak Women's team in the inaugural Gove AFLW season and her tenacity and athleticism saw her dominate throughout a fine season effort.
Mununggurr had taken his game to a new level in 2017, and a fast start to the year and a consistent polling period throughout ensured he held off a quality field of chasing players that included the impressive Luke Bath, key defensive leader Cameron Stokes and Elcho Island excitement machines Raven Marika and Ralph Dhamarrandji. Senior Coach Hayden Rickard was thrilled for Mununggurr's accomplished 2017 season. He said "Really happy for Lee. We had a talk around this time last year when we looked at how to use the 2016/17 NTFL season as a development tool. We identified that the talent was there, we just needed to work on attitude and application both on and off the field. To his credit, he has taken the feedback, demonstrated he is coachable and really worked bone deep. To go from Rising Star last year to winning this individual accolade, it's a reward for effort. He added "Now we get an opportunity for Matt Campbell and Richie Russell to add some polish and refine the playing product at Darwin Buffaloes this season where Lee has looked dangerous on the half-forward flank".
The Men's Coach of the Year Award went to Steven 'Scully' Raymond. Raymond had come to the club with an extensive coaching portfolio of development positions at various NTFL clubs as well as experience with the NT Thunder Kickstart program. Rickard identified a real tenacity from Raymond in his learning and approach to the design for the season plan. "Scully really applied himself to his planning and design work this season. It was some really quality work in this field. He is an emotional coach in terms of having that connection with the playing group, really knowing when to have a laugh but when to flick the switch. I'm really pleased for him individually and our club and program are lucky to have him" Rickard said.
Corey Atkinson was awarded the Women's Coach of the Year after taking the Brown and Gold Army to a maiden Women's Premiership. Atkinson was humbled when he accepted the award and highlighted the family culture of the club during his speech. In a bittersweet moment, he announced his future return to Victoria for a work opportunity and the club wishes him all the best for the future.
Women's Manager Araluen Maymuru won the Women's Volunteer of the Year Award. Maymuru has done an outstanding job with the Women's Program and has indicated she will move to a coaching role in 2018. She will continue in her mentor role throughout the NTFL Season and with a number of female players having the skillset to play in Darwin, this is a real growth area for the program.
Club Stalwart Danny Beadman and newcomer Yama Banu shared the Men's Volunteer of the Year award. Beadman has been battling illness for the past few season but his dedication and love for the club often sees him put the Brown and Gold Army before himself. "We all love Danny around the place, just such a selfless bloke who really buys into our culture. He has really helped to drive the positive changes around the place over the past few seasons" Rickard remarked. Banu had been a sound inclusion to the off-field staff and has indicated he is striving to play in 2018 and has been working diligently with the Rirratjingu Football Program on his fitness and craft.
The Presentation Night was presented by Nic O'Riley from the NO MORE Campaign and the Channel 7 NTFL Commentary Team. Whilst in Yirrkala, O'Riley and colleague Susan Sandry drove a NO MORE workshop to improve and add weight to the Djarrak Football Clubs Domestic Violence Action Plan. The club hope to unveil the new DVAP, after consulting a wide arc of the club members over the next month.
A huge thanks to the Yirrkala Art Centre particularly Arian Pearson and Richard Fitowski from East Arnhem Regional Council for your assistance on the day.
FULL DJARRAK FOOTBALL CLUB AWARD RECIPIENTS
Djarrak FC Women’s Awards
Best & Fairest - Shanita Garrawurra
Runner Up Best & Fairest - Nikki O'Hara
Player of the Finals - Kaya Mununggurr
Rising Star - Gawiya Mununggurr
Best Utility - Rakrakpuy Marika
Most Consistent Forward - Bunganga Yunupingu
Most Consistent Midfielder - Bayini Yunupingu
Most Consistent Defender - Emily Whitlaw
Most Improved - Kerry Wunungmurra
Most Courageous - Rokuwuy Garrawurra
Coaches Award - Sarah Wunungmurra
Women’s Coach of Year - Corey Atkinson
Women’s Volunteer of the Year - Araluen Maymuru
Djarrak FC Men’s Awards
Best & Fairest - Lee Mununggurr
Rising Star - Nelson Bara
Coaches Award - Gapirri Burarrwanga
Best Utility - Rhys Mulholland
Most Valuable Player - Luke Bath
Men’s Coach of the Year - Steven Raymond
Men’s Volunteer of the Year - Danny Beadman & Yama Banu