Not for Profit: Alcoa helps kick goals for Clontarf

23/07/2008 - 22:00

Established in 2000, the Clontarf Foundation uses football in an effort to keep young indigenous boys in education, preparing and helping them to find full employment and a more positive future.

Established in 2000, the Clontarf Foundation uses football in an effort to keep young indigenous boys in education, preparing and helping them to find full employment and a more positive future.

Clontarf, who received more than $300,000 from Alcoa of Australia to open a new academy in Kwinana, has seen its numbers grow from 25 in its first year to 1,380 in 2008.

Chief executive officer Gerard Neesham, who set up the foundation in 2000, said partnerships with companies like Alcoa are about more than the funding and are important in establishing long-term relationships, which help to put its students in full-time employment.

"The partnership with Aloca is really exciting...we've partnered with many, many businesses and we see that those partnerships are two fold," Mr Neesham said.

"We really rely on independent funding as part of a source of our funding. The private sector gives us a direct in, in our local area to actually get our boys employed.

"So it's full circle, it's not just the money. For us we want to actually be a partner for a long, long period of time, you know 20 to 40 years and to have our boys go in that work area.

Mr Neesham said that while the program helps to see students through to year 12 and into employment, it is the continued support after this time that is integral to the programs success.

"In a normal scenario of the family when your children leave school... they get supported through the next part of life and we saw a deficiency in this area (with our students)," Mr Neesham said.

"I identified in 2001 that we needed to support our leavers into the workforce and (while) it's been there the whole time, we've formalised it this year with the appointment of a general manager of employment. We see ourselves as being a very serious player in that, and it further adds to the partnership between us and the likes of Alcoa."

While the program uses football as a way of encouraging the boys to attend school and build their confidence, Mr Neesham said the program is not about generating top level footballers.

"Football is the bait but it's also the vehicle to getting some change," Mr Neesham said.

"We're really about getting life skills, getting a positive attitude to living, a healthy living, getting a job, growing up and being a meaningful member of society, so that's really our whole mission statement, its not about producing AFL footballers.

"As a by product of what we do we've produced some AFL footballers but that's not our core business."

Mr Neesham, who came back to teaching after coaching the Fremantle Dockers, noticed positive behavioural changes in his students through the use of football.

Clontarf, which secures about a third of its funding from the state government, a third from the federal government and a third from the private sector, has 22 academies in WA and Northern Territory, with aims to expand into other states.

"We've got a fair bit of work still to do in WA and NT but there's a serious appetite from those other states for us to move into there and get our program in," he said.

 

Clontarf Foundation

The Clontarf Foundation was established in 2000 and uses football to help young indigenous boys finish school and gain future employment. The foundation is partly funded by both the state and federal government, and is also reliant on funding and partnerships from the private sector.

Partners include Alcoa, BHP Billiton, Coates and Iluka Resources.

Chairman

Ross Kelly

Chief executive officer

Gerard Neesham

Directors

Danny Ford

Marilyn Morgan

David Neesham

Harry Neesham

Tom O'Leary

Wayne McNamara

Ennio Tavani

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options