Sharon Finnan-White



Sharon Finnan-White First Nations Academy of Excellence is a unique program for 15 to 25 year olds designed to support young Indigenous netballers, and in time other sports people, from regional and remote communities across Australia.  This program will be the only program of its type across Australia. The program is designed to provide holistic support across the mind, body, and environment, through a range of services that include netball training, educational and employment support, strength and conditioning, mindset coaching, cultural development, and mentorship. The academy aims to support the growth and development of young Indigenous athletes, who will be provided program scholarships and in the first year of the program two athletes full residential scholarships. The academy aims to create opportunities for Indigenous athletes to achieve their sporting potential while also providing them with life skills, knowledge, and networks to support their ongoing success..


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Inspiring a new era of indigenous excellence

It is with immense pleasure I announce the beginning of a new era in Indigenous empowerment - The Sharon Finnan-White First Nations Academy of Excellence. I am honoured to launch a comprehensive, dedicated, and holistic program that will empower Indigenous athletes, foster cultural pride, and drive positive change in our communities.   


My vision is fueled by a relentless goal: to inspire an era of Indigenous excellence that will create a lasting impact on individuals and communities alike. The driving force behind this endeavour is my unwavering belief that equal opportunities, and a holistic approach can unlock the extraordinary potential within each and every one of our talented Indigenous athletes, and in turn they can go on to be change agents themselves. 

First Steps

Our journey begins with a pivotal target - the netball program scheduled for 2024. This program holds great significance as it aims to address the undeniable underrepresentation of First Nations players in netball. By providing a nurturing environment and unwavering support, we aim to create a pathway for talented Indigenous netballers to showcase their skills and realize their full potential on the court. 

The FNAE Advantage

How we are delivering on our mission

FNAE Programs and Initiatives

Our comprehensive programs and initiatives are designed to equip our First Nations athletes, coaches and umpires with the skills, knowledge, and support they need for success in both sports and life.

Cultural Engagement Program

FNAE actively engages in community-building through our “return to country”community visits, yarning circles and sharing in cultural experiences with elders on country. We promote unity through playing matches against other First Nations teams, honor traditions by performing Acknowledgment of Country and Welcome to Country at events, support local businesses with unique First Nations artwork designs, and actively participate in significant First Nations events, such as NAIDOC and Reconciliation Week, strengthening our cultural connections and community bonds.

Sport, Education and Employment Pathways 

At FNAE, we are dedicated to advocating for our athletes, coaches and umpires  and championing excellence and success beyond sports. We leverage our network and resources to ensure their aspirations are not only met but exceeded in sport, education, and employment pathways.


At FNAE, our holistic approach to development includes coach and umpire accreditation and training, mindset coaching for resilience, sports nutrition for peak performance and athlete recovery strategies. We emphasise high-performance behaviours, provide insight into selection criteria, and foster self-awareness. Our programs encompass self-imagery, positive self-talk, navigating the sporting pathway, coach feedback implementation, time management, goal setting, team building, and cultural awareness. We offer academic support through homework tutoring to ensure comprehensive growth for our athletes.

SFW Scholarship Program

At FNAE, we are deeply committed to inclusivity and ensuring that every aspiring First Nations athlete, coach or umpire regardless of their geographical location, has the opportunity to chase their dreams. Our “Sharon Finnan-White (SFW) Scholarship Program” is a testament to this commitment. We understand the unique challenges faced by First Nations young people in regional and remote areas, including limited access to resources and opportunities.

Career Support Program 

Our Career Support Program is designed to empower our athletes, coaches and umpires with the skills and knowledge required to secure a fulfilling and successful career.

Mentoring Support

Our one-on-one and group mentoring sessions are designed to provide invaluable support to our athletes, coaches, and umpires, helping them reach their full potential and achieve their aspirations.

High-Performance Coaching

At FNAE, we believe in excellence in every aspect of sports. Our High-Performance Coaching program is designed to elevate our athletes' skills to the highest level. With specialized technical and tactical skills development and position-specific specialist training, we ensure that our athletes are equipped with the tools they need to excel in their chosen sport. Whether it's mastering the fundamentals or fine-tuning position-specific skills, we're dedicated to nurturing their athletic potential.

Strength and Conditioning

At FNAE, we understand that physical conditioning is the foundation of athletic success. Our Strength and Conditioning program offers a comprehensive approach. Our participants benefit from tailored individualized programs and group training sessions to enhance their fitness. We go the extra mile with fitness assessments to measure progress and provide data-driven insights for improvements. With us, athletes don't just train; they evolve, building strength, endurance, and resilience for peak performance

Showcasing Talent and First Nations Culture 

Our athletes, coaches and umpires at FNAE thrive on competition. They actively participate in local, regional, state, and national competitions, showcasing their skills on a grand stage. Additionally, they take part in curtain raiser matches during First Nations Rounds, adding cultural significance to their performances. For broader exposure and experience, our teams embark on interstate tours, engaging in high-level competitions. And, to foster unity and camaraderie, we organise international team tours, connecting with other First Nations teams and communities, transcending borders and boundaries in the spirit of sportsmanship.

Begin your journey today

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