Baan Group, in conjunction with The Box Hill Hawks Football Club, have launched ‘Baan Dudang Badji‘ (early path), an initiative designed to offer community based Indigenous footballers the opportunity to start their coaching journey.

With the support of both the AFL via Level 1 and 2 Accredited Coaching courses and the AFLCA ‘Next Coach Program’, the program is designed to offer a coaching pathway that will include mentoring, match day experiences and hands on training in conjunction with the more formal offerings of the AFL and AFLCA.

Kane Ellis, Chairman of Baan Group, said ‘Indigenous footballers are underrepresented as coaches at all levels of Australian Rules Football. This initiative goes to the very nature of Baan’s philosophy; being a hands-on community-based program that aims to maximise outcomes by leveraging our networks’.

Pat Clancey, General Manager of Box Hill Hawks added ‘Box Hill have a clear strategic intent of being immersed in the local football community. Our highly regarded work with both the Eastern Ranges and Gippsland Power clubs has allowed us to support emerging talent. The connection with Baan will further strengthen our community roots and goes directly to our desire to empower Indigenous players within our great game’.

David Banfield, Head of Development at Box Hill Hawks, will oversee the program. ‘I have already worked with Baan in supporting some young footballers at a school in the Northern Territory. Our Coaching staff in both our VFL and VFLW programs are excited about the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences and playing a part in the next generations of aspiring coaches. A big thanks to Baan for their support in this area’.

With the launch on February 24, the program is now underway and we look forward to communicating the variety of positive outcomes as it evolves.

Box Hill Hawks VFLW player, Jordan Misfud, a proud Peek Whurrong woman, has also thrown her support behind the program.


From left: Pat Clancey (Box Hill Hawks General Manager), Harry Jones (Baan Dudang Badji Program Coordinator), Jordan Misfud (Box Hill Hawks VFLW Player), Kane Ellis (Chairman Baan Group) and David Banfield (Box Hill Hawks Head of Development).