Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Sports Coaching Forum

In May 2016, Western Sydney University held a forum that explored factors that have influenced sport participation and sport-coaching roles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Facilitated by Dr Andrew Bennie, Director of the Health and Physical Education Program, the forum included an interactive panel discussion featuring five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sport coaches from community and high performance sport settings.

Expanding on conversations with researchers from Western Sydney University's School of Science and Health in 2015, the forum brought to the fore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives about facilitators and barriers to coaching pathways. In doing so, the forum aimed to collaboratively produce initial recommendations that may enhance opportunities in sport coaching roles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Meet the panel

Marcia Ella-DuncanMarcia Ella-Duncan

Marcia is a descendant of the Yuin nation on the far south coast of NSW and was the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander netballer to represent Australia at senior level. She is the Coaching Coordinator at Randwick Netball Association, Metro League coach with Randwick, and Premier League Assistant Coach with St George-UTS Sparks. Marcia holds Intermediate level Netball coaching accreditation and is currently completing her Advanced accreditation. She was recently inducted into Netball Australia's Hall of Fame.

Jarred_HodgesJarred Hodges

Jarred is a descendant of the Kooma people from South Western Queensland, but was raised, studied, and continues to live in Western Sydney. Now employed with Western Sydney University as Senior Project Officer for the Fields of Dreams program, Jarred previously worked as a Health and Physical Education teacher for 14 years. He is a Level 3 Rugby Union coach who has directed the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team (National Indigenous Rugby) for the last 20 years, worked as a specialist coach with the QANTAS Wallabies and coached the Australian Schools teams. He has experience as the head coach of the national Phillipines Rugby team, and currently coaches First Grade rugby for Eastwood RUFC.

Phil_duncanPhil Duncan

A member of the Gomeroi Nation from Moree NSW, Phil's homelands are Moree and Terry Hie Hie. He has over 36 years experience working with Aboriginal people and government to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Phil is a Level 2 accredited rugby league coach and the Coaching Co-ordinator of Alexandria Park JRLFC in the South Sydney Junior Rugby League Football Competition. He has also coached the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team and worked as President of Pearlers Netball Club.

Bou OvingtonBou Ovington

Bou Ovington is a 21 year old Darug man from Campbelltown. He is a final year Western Sydney University Student in the Bachelor of Health Science (Health and Physical Education) program. Bou is a Internationally accredited Rugby League coach, and Level 2 sports trainer who is currently coaching two junior Rugby League teams (under 7's and under 14's) in the Campbelltown region. He has also held coaching roles with Western Suburbs Magpies (2015) and Combined Countries Rugby League (2014).

Darren AllieDarren Allie

Darren is a proud descendant of the Gudjala people and was born is Sale, Victoria. Being the son of a military family he had the privilege to grow up in all over Australia but now calls Sydney home. Darren has been coaching basketball for over 25 years and is now beginning his career as an AFL coach. He has coached the Sydney University Flames (Womens National Basketball League), NSW representative teams, and State League basketball clubs. Currently, Darren is coaching the NSW U18 women State basketball team, the Sydney University Flames Basketball Academy, and the NSW Indigenous U15 AFL Kickstart team.


Andrew Bennie2Dr Andrew Bennie (opens in a new window)

Andrew is the Director of Health and Physical Education at Western Sydney University. His research and teaching interests include sport coaching, and physical activity, teaching, and learning in Health and Physical Education (HPE). His latest research focuses on pathways into sport coaching for Indigenous people (globally), and the use of motivational strategies to increase physical activity during primary (elementary) school physical education. Andrew is a Level 2 accredited coach and has coached football (soccer), field hockey, touch football, and athletics at school and community clubs.