Gold Coast Suns Jarrod Harbrow educates the next generation of AFL players & drives cultural change
Retired AFL Player Jarrod Harbrow, a proud Yirrganydji-Kuku-Yalanji man from far North Queensland, was appointed as the SUNS Indigenous programs coordinator in 2021 and continues to be the driving force behind the team's many First Nations-focused initiatives.
With over 950 teenagers coming through the SUNS Academy each year, Harbrow works alongside AFL Queensland, to deliver Cultural Awareness education sessions to Academy players.
Since taking on this role in, Harbrow has become a champion for creating a space that focuses on promoting a culturally safe environment for people of all backgrounds and cultures.
"We want the Gold Coast SUNS to be a place where our people feel safe and valued, and where parents can have peace of mind that their kids are in good hands," said Harbrow.
"It starts with our Academy, where we have been implementing cultural education programs to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in our country and in our sport, but also educate on the ongoing challenges Indigenous people face in society."
"It is so important that we continue to educate the youngest generation and drive cultural change."
Harbrow's goal is to have a club-wide emphasis on cultural education, with the academies providing the same programs as the SUNS' AFL and AFLW squads.
As a club, the SUNS have set their sights on becoming one of the best clubs in the AFL in this area. Overall be a magnet for up-and-coming Indigenous athletes because of their dedication to bringing Indigenous athletes to the highest level.
"We have a goal to increase both the participation and representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people playing our game and coming through the SUNS Academy all the way to the elite level," Harbrow said.
"We’re doing more than ever before with Indigenous culture weaving through everything we do, but we’re still looking to lead the way and make our club one of the most culturally safe environments in the AFL for our people and players."