Football star Nadia von Bertouch was treated like an honoured guest when she visited Groote Eylandt.
The South Australian Saint worked with the community group Bushfit Mob to run football clinics for youngsters during her stay.
She visited all four schools in the archipelago – Alyangula Area School, Angurugu School, Alyarrmandumanja Umbakumba School and Milyakburra School.
Nadia was catching up with her sister Abbie, who runs the Art Centre and an extensive arts program on the island.
She says many of the students didn’t believe she was one of the top female Australian Football players in the country.
“They thought I was too skinny, which is probably true,” she told saints.com.au. “But I think they were all pretty excited.
“Most of the time they have to go back to the mainland or even to Darwin, and I think a lot of them were going to the Michael Long Centre as a way to get exposed to football, but I don’t think they’d come across many AFLW players at all, ever.”
Nadia, who lives and plays football in Melbourne, also helped with her sister’s art and music lessons.
“I had forgotten about how much I love working with kids and footy clinics especially,” she says.
“I know we love to be able to do stuff around our local area in Melbourne and to give back to the community through footy, but to go out and do that in such a remote community was really rewarding for me.
“I only did it for a couple of weeks up there, but it would be something I would love to do again in the future.
“Maybe when the AFLW season is over, I’ll head up for a bit longer and get involved with a few more programs and help them kickstart more of a women’s footy team.
“It was really cool to ignite that, but for me I’d like to finish that off and see it go further.
“The passion and the love for Aussie Rules up there is something pretty special, but even though they have that passion, they just don’t have the opportunities that kids do down here in Melbourne for example. “To see that passion is still just as strong, if not stronger there, that’s something I think we really need to delve into and have something come out of it.”