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About Us


V Swans is the community arm of the Swan Districts Football Club. We are committed to providing communities, business and government with solutions for sustainable community development using V Swans Active Education and Employment Model.

Our ‘Active Education and employment’ programs are leading the way in transferring skills from the sports field to the classroom, translating outcomes in both increased wellbeing and overall sense of belonging.

We are committed to our communities with all program staff based within the community they serve, building understanding and trust with our participants, their families and our key funding and community partners.


The V Formation of flying birds ensures that the strongest to the weakest of the flock arrive at the same destination at the same time, it also provides the best way to create efficiency, communication and orientation of the flock.

All birds take their turn in the front of the formation so that they spread the load amongst the team. We believe that these characteristics represent how we ensure that all our participants have the opportunity to lead the flock and ensure we all get to the end point by working together as part of a team.


Swan Districts Football Club (SDFC) is committed to being more than just a football club. To us sport is more than a game. Over the past decade V Swans has developed its business to ensure diversity, strength and a shared community vision. V Swans provides a fresh strategic approach as we strengthen our commitment to encouraging and nurturing our participants and have a positive impact on the communities in which we work.

V Swans is the community, education and game development division of SDFC. Growing from one staff person in 2007 to seventeen in just eight short years. Our programs have a direct impact annually with more than five thousand young people and their families. We design, develop and deliver innovative high-quality education, community, pathway and individual development programs using sport as the tool for engagement.

We recognise and respect the value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to our business. We are committed to furthering our understanding to build positive trusting relationships and achieve a shared cultural vision and support the Closing the Gap Policy in several key areas for Aboriginal people in WA. We have a second Reconciliation Australia sanctioned Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and have delivered on all components of that RAP since our first RAP in 2012

Our RAP Journey began in 2012 as we began reviewing our organisation’s strategic vision. We identified a need to develop a more tangible reconciliation pathway to be adopted by all sectors of our business. Swan Districts Football Club recognises the significant role our second RAP plays in shaping and developing the reconciliation pathway for an organisation. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are an important part of our business, both internally and externally.

Our RAP serves to recognise their current contribution and set clear and achievable steps to strengthen our capacity as a united and successful organisation.



We strive to be leaders and positiove role models, particularly to disadvantaged young people, as we fulfil their potential and become empowered in their life journey. We use sport as a vehicle to support our wellness and connected messages. We work in partnership with other likeminded organistaions to work together achieve positive impact in the communities that we work.



To ensure Aboriginal and non Aboriginal young people are actively and positively participating in physical activity, education and community.


V Swans staff are all active members in their communities, committed to listening and empowering those young people and families we work with. We are focussed on long term projects that produce a lasting and sustainable imprint on each community.

V Swans currently have eighteen full and part time staff based around the Pilbara and four full-time in our head office in Perth; 42% of V Swans staff are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and they are committed both geographically and philosophically with their regions and understand the barriers that living in remote Australia can bring because that’s where we live.



Encompassing 507, 896 square kilometres from the North-West coastline to the border of the Northern Territory, the Pilbara is one of the largest regions in WA. Geographically it is thought to be 3.4 billion years old and is often described as the nation’s powerhouse due to the abundance of natural resources.

The countryside of the Pilbara offers unique outdoor adventures. The lifestyle in the Pilbara includes a vast array of outdoor activities such as camping, boating and fishing in some beautiful and remote landscapes.

The region can be separated into three distinct geographical formations.  A vast coastal plain, breathtaking inland ranges and an arid desert region extending into Australia's dry centre. Offshore natural gas is not the only thing to find. The Dampier Archipelago boasts pristine reefs dotted with virtually untouched islands providing a snapshot into the region’s environmental past. 

The region is divided into four Local Government Authorities - Shire of Ashburton, City of Karratha, the Town of Port Hedland and Shire of East Pilbara. The major towns of the Pilbara include Port Hedland, South Hedland, Karratha, Onslow, Newman, Tom Price and Marble bar. A significant number of Indigenous communities are also present in the Pilbara.

The Pilbara is best known for its economic contribution to Australia. In 2010 the Pilbara produced 53% of WA's mineral and petroleum production, representing $71.7b. Key industries in the Pilbara are mining, construction and export, with two of Australia's largest ports by tonnage located at Dampier and Port Hedland. The resource sector is continuing to boom with numerous new projects being proposed. A substantial number of people also work in the region on a fly-in/fly-out basis.


The climate of the Pilbara is arid and Sub tropical.  It experiences high temperatures and low irregular rainfall that follows the summer cyclones. During the summer months, maximum temperatures exceed 32 °C almost every day, and temperatures in excess of 45 °C are not uncommon. The Pilbara town of Marble Bar set a world record of most consecutive days of maximum temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius).

Pilbara Aboriginal History

The first people to inhabit this region were ancestors of today's Aboriginal people. Between 40,000 and 50,000 years ago, these First Nation people lived a complex but sustainable lifestyle based on strict social constructs and land-use management practices. Aboriginal society changed radically after European settlement in the area. 

The first waves of Europeans to the Pilbara were explorers. Male pastoralists and missionaries quickly followed. Aboriginal people were overpowered and moved off traditional land to allow pastoral undertakings. Whole Aboriginal populations were moved to different locations and many traditional links were damaged or broken. Forced relocation and several Aboriginal massacres occurred in this period. 

In the Pilbara it was common practise to forcibly retain Aboriginal people on pastoral stations to be used as slave labour. This practise continued until 1946 when a mass walk off the stations by Pilbara Aboriginal people occurred. The people went on strike for better pay and living conditions. This period is referred to as the Strike of 1946.

Many Aboriginal people, especially of mixed descent, were removed from their families and placed into missions, orphanages, and children's homes, adopted or fostered out during the first half of the 1900s. Many children were forcibly removed from their families by the Government of the day. These children are often referred to as Stolen Generation children.

From the early 1800s State and Federal governments legislated for Aboriginal people. A number of these legislations reflected the unenl


Over the past few years V Swans have shown best practise programming by being receiving the following Industry awards:

2018 – WA Young Achiever Awards – Kara Donnellan – Surge Fitness Sports Award

2017 -  WA Community Citizen of the Year Awards – Active Citizenship Award - which is given to a group doing outstanding work or for an event staged in the community during the past year – V Swans Ashburton

2017 - WA Community Citizen of the Year Awards - Youth Citizen of the year – Kaiden Matera – V Swans Ashburton

2017 WA Volunteer Awards - East Pilbara Youth Volunteer of the Year

2016 Chamber of Commerce Awards – V Swans Ashburton – Winner – Best Community Organisation

2016 WA Regional Awards – Winner – Sports Person of the Year

2016 WA Regional Awards – Best Community Organisation of the Year - Finalist

2016 Town of Port Hedland - Sporting Volunteer of the Year Winner

2016 Town of Port Hedland - Youth Volunteer Award of the Year

Finalist 2015 AIM WA Pinnacle Business Awards - Corporate Social Responsibility For excellence through key initiatives that demonstrate leadership and commitment to excellence in corporate social responsibility.

Finalist 2013 – AIM WA Pinnacle Business Awards – Aboriginal Leadership Development Excellence Award – in the categories of Introduction of initiatives to support Aboriginal leadership development with youth in the community and community based Aboriginal leadership programs that build capacity and promote diversity & Leadership and Development interventions to encourage Aboriginal leadership development inside our organisation.

Winner WA AFL Masters Community Club of the Year 2013 & 2014 - For the Newman Celebrity Football Event and local fundraising opportunities – Managed by V Swans in partnership with the Newman Vets and Key Community Stakeholders

2014 Special Commendation – Department Sport & Recreation – Commitment to Participation - For the V Swans New Horizons Program – This program delivers education and community participation integration programs for the WA Department of Corrections – Perth and Roebourne Facilities

2012 Winner School First Program – Impact Award - Parnngurr Community School (Cotton Creek – Great Sandy Desert)

Winner 2011 Department of Sport and Recreation Awards - Ministers Award for Industry Excellence

Winner 2011 Department of sport and Recreation Awards – Provision of Sport and Recreation to Regional WA award Shooting Goals Program

Finalist 2011 Department Sport and Recreation Awards – Commitment to Participation Award - Onslow Active Program

Finalist 2011 Department Sport and Recreation Awards – Community Event Award - Sporting and Community event Karratha

Winner 2010 ACHPER (Australian council for health, Physical Education and Recreation) Award - Commitment to Physical Education and activity (High School level)



Scope of Programs Delivered

A diverse range of education, engagement and development programs are delivered through our ‘Active Education’ Framework. This allows for multiple entry points for Aboriginal Youth and families to connect with the project.  Providing the continuity for them to stay involved as they progress throughout their lives.

Community is Familiar with the Organisation

Due to V Swans operating successfully in the Pilbara for the best part of a decade, our organisation has built strong relationships with the communities in which we deliver. These relationships are extremely valuable to the success of the programs, and are only developed with transparency, trust and time. Also, with a transient youth population in the region, participant awareness of the organisation is able to provide a sense of familiarity and belonging when travelling to other communities within this vast region. This again provides youth and families an avenue to connect with the project when they’re visiting – as V Swans is a trusted provider in the Pilbara.

Our People

Swan Districts Football Club is committed to the ongoing employment, professional and personal development all our staff, players and officials. We ensure all staff have the opportunity to development and enhance their skill set to meet the requirements of the work and role they play within the organisation. We operate in diverse communities and recognise the importance of employing staff representative of these communities. We pride ourselves in delivering high quality programs via high quality people. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people fulfil many roles throughout our business:


Capability of our staff (experience and qualifications)

  • The Manager of V Swans has a Bachelor of Health and Physical Education (Secondary)
  • Our Staff have backgrounds in various community, youth and both Primary and Secondary education fields with at least 5 years’ experience in this type of program delivery. They all have current working with children cards and National Police Checks. 
  • Our key Regional Managers are all qualified community and education specialists with local knowledge of the communities in which we operate.
  • Our Indigenous staff integrated throughout our business including management, marketing, senior administration and trainee level roles.  With many family links with the communities in which we deliver, including programs participants from our programs dating back to 2005.
  • All V Swans staff continue to study as we are committed to the power of education both in our program, our participants and our most important resource our staff.

Our Point of Difference

  • Each program is delivered to suit individual community needs - one size does not fit all in our remote regional communities.
  • We recognise our organisations social responsibility and commitment to the people in our Swan Districts Football Club regional zones.
  • Our activities are fully integrated into the school curriculum and education systems.
  • We embrace diversity, inclusiveness and integration involving Indigenous and Non-Indigenous youth, young people from non-English speaking backgrounds, and both male and female participants.
  • We work with those that need support to stay on track and those who have disengaged from community and or are incarcerated for their poor life choices and decisions.
  • Our staff live locally in our remote regions, they understand the environment and are committed to the positive development of the community because its HOME.


No FIFO delivery for V Swans

Due to staff working in similar fields among different towns in the Pilbara Region, staff members can collaborate with each other to increase the scope of impact that the project can provide. This enables the entire region to have consistent deliverers in town and multiple specialists through the one organisation at their disposal.


 We are preparing our young people for the toughest game of all – life.


  • All V Swans programs are designed and delivered in consultation with local Aboriginal leaders, key regional stakeholders, families and participants. We constantly seek feedback from our local communities and are committed to those regions with full time staff based in these local communities.
  • We have a strong Aboriginal based staff with 45% full and part time staff working in our programs at any one time (varies from region to region).
  • We have a Reconciliation Australia sanction Reconciliation Action Plan and have delivered on all components of that plan since its introduction in 2013.
  • Many of the programs in our strategy have been supported with partnerships between Federal Government, Corporate Australia and OUR regional and Aboriginal communities.
  • Our programs have significant Aboriginal participation and have had outstanding success and we have a proven track record in increasing school attendance, providing valuable participation pathways, engaging young people and families into community, improving behaviour and supporting crime diversion.
  • We have volunteer community advisory groups in all our major program regions that support and guide our program staff and direction to suit individual community outcomes and the unique environments of each region.
  • We have a significant local network of program stakeholders including education, business, health, government and local community groups that we work with and engage ensuring complete community ownership with our programs.
  • We have worked in each of the communities stated in the projects for at least 5 to 10 years. Our staff live and work within the community and have in some cases working with second generation of families.
  • All projects have at least a 6 to 12 month lead in process of community consultation this includes local Aboriginal leaders, business, education and other community foundations and businesses to ensure collaboration and no duplication. 

* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that this publication may contain the names and images of people who have passed away.