6 August 2020 | Tennis Australia

World No.1 Ash Barty was on hand in Cairns this week to help announce the Australian Tennis Foundation’s (ATF) commitment of $115,000 to fund Indigenous Tennis Programs in Queensland over the next three years.

The ATF aims to harness the power of tennis to help children develop resilience and improve physical, mental and social wellbeing.

As a proud Ngarigo woman and in her role as Tennis Australia’s Indigenous Tennis Ambassador, Barty joined six young indigenous tennis players for a spectacular guided walk at Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest last week.

Barty also visited Cairns West State School where she met 20 Young Indigenous students for a hit and question and answer session.

“This funding provides an opportunity, not just in tennis, but in education, and in experiences,” Barty said.

“I think it’s incredible to see the pathways that are now available to Indigenous youth… and the opportunities they have to develop in whatever profession they choose. It’s all about giving opportunity to indigenous youth and providing pathways through tennis to show what our sport can do for our culture.

“It’s really special to be able to give people of all ages that opportunity to grow and learn about how much sport has to offer in the way of connecting people and communities.”

The ATF’s first round of funding will go towards Indigenous programs in the Sunshine State delivered by South West Indigenous Network (SWIN) and Cairns Regional Council, with the council committing a further $15,000 to support their local program.

The funding will assist programs are designed to support young Indigenous people and help them build resilience, using tennis as a vehicle to develop important leadership and career skills.

“The Australian Tennis Foundation is excited to announce $115,000 funding towards Indigenous tennis programs in Queensland and provide more opportunities for young people,” ATF Executive Director Vicki Reid said.

“These sustainable programs and experiences will help young people build lifelong skills and contribute to creating a brighter future.

“We are so lucky to have Ash as Tennis Australia’s Indigenous Tennis Ambassador, and to have her proudly supporting these programs. She is a true inspiration to all of us, and especially our Indigenous community.

The visit to Mossman Gorge was supported by the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland.


The Australian Tennis Foundation (ATF) is Tennis Australia’s official charity.

The ATF harnesses the power of tennis to help children and young people develop resilience, make healthy life choices and feel positive about the future.  At the core of each initiative the ATF aims to:  Improve physical mental and social health, build self-esteem and confidence, learn respect, team work and sportsmanship, decrease the impacts of social and geographic isolation through inclusion and acceptance, and relieve socioeconomic disadvantage.

SWIN Partnership

The ATF has confirmed a commitment of $25,000 per year for three years to South West Indigenous Network to support the Indigenous program delivered by SWIN in South West Queensland to provide brighter futures for young Indigenous children and young people.

“SWIN is pleased to partner with the ATF to inspire the next generation of Indigenous tennis players in South West Queensland. SWIN exists to ensure that through sport, culture and community, Indigenous Australians can live longer and have a better quality of life. This funding will help establish a network of place-based Indigenous tennis coaches delivering sustainable programs for Indigenous communities and ensure that tennis can be a sport of choice for Indigenous children no matter where they’re located,” Peter Jackson, Chairperson – South West Indigenous Network.

Cairns Regional Council Partnership

The ATF has confirmed a commitment of $10,000 per year for three years to Cairns Regional Council. The ATF is supporting this Indigenous program delivered in the Cairns Region, which will be delivered in partnership with local Indigenous service providers and community leaders, connecting into existing programs to enhance sustainable outcomes.  The program will provide tennis programming for indigenous children and pathways to employment for young people providing hope for the future and skills in resilience.

“Cairns Regional Council is partnering with local community groups, Phoenix Sport and Culture Club and Deadly Tennis to deliver tennis to these kids who may not otherwise get that opportunity. We’re providing strong indigenous role models and a real pride in culture and community. Tennis doesn’t have to be professional, you’ve got opportunity even through coaching and just through that club life and club ability and you continue on as long as you need to. That’s what we really want to show these kids,” Matt Smith, Cairns Regional Council Club Development.