Our Story

The Papunya Foundation is an initiative of the
Glen Iris Gladiators Junior Football Club.
The Foundation’s purpose is to ‘Connect Communities through Football’.
The communities being the remote NT Indigenous community of Papunya,
population 299 and the Glen Iris Junior Football Club.
Since 2013, a group of GIJFC players and parents have been visiting the isolated
community of Papunya to essentially play football with the local children.
The motives of both groups have been that simple and honest, to ‘just play footy’.
Since 2013, over 85 GIJFC 12 year olds have had the experience of 5 days in the
desert, playing football, hunting witchetty grubs, sleeping rough and learning
about the culture of this unique community.
Those players and parents who have all attended the trip have come back with an
understanding of what it is like to live in a community, like Papunya, where footy is
played bare foot, on red earth. There is no junior football league, yet everyone who can,
wears their favourite teams colours every day. When there is the offer of a game,
everyone gets involved (even if that means a 2-hour drive and 40 a side on the ground!).
Those that have been to Papunya come home with an immense appreciation of
their own lifestyles, and an admiration and respect for the children of Papunya.
In 2016, the GIJFC decided that it was time that we gave back in a meaningful way.
This meant bringing a small group of Papunya children (8 boys, aged 12 to 13)
and 4 adults to Melbourne for 5 days to essentially ‘play some good footy’!
The Papunya Foundation was established to create the resources – both money
and people, to fund and organise this once in a lifetime trip.
The Papunya touring group will be in Melbourne to coincide with the AFL Dream Time game.
The Foundation’s initial financial goal is to raise $25,000 in its first year and to subsequently
be able to commit to hosting a Papunya group every year.