In September 2011, AIEF announced a new partnership with the AFL to provide scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in NSW and QLD who are interested in playing AFL at a higher level and achieving their very best academic education level possible.
The AIEF/AFL Scholarship Program is a joint funding partnership with the AFL and AIEF that aims to attract and support young Indigenous men in financial need. Students accepted into the program will be supported with boarding school placement as well as participation in an AFL talent development program.
The partnership was launched during the AFL Indigenous KickStart Under 15 Championships on the Gold Coast. Guests at the event included popular sports legends Otis Gowa, Cathy Freeman OAM and Karmichael Hunt, who answered questions from the young players and shared their experiences and their secrets to a successful sporting career.