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Who we are

Koorie Academy is a not for profit organisation based in Naarm. Our aim is to provide opportunities and fun experiences, through sport, for mob. We do this by running basketball clinics and events throughout the year that brings the community together from all across Victoria.

Ricky Baldwin

Our Founder

I am a proud Gunai Kurnai man who has been advocating for his people to have access to the same opportunities as everyone else for more than 20 years. My passion lies in giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people opportunities to participate in and compete in sport, to learn about their cultural heritage and connections to country, and to build the knowledge, skills and resources they need to successfully engage in education and employment opportunities. 


On a national scale, my coaching and advocacy has afforded my community many wins that continue to go largely unrecognised. In 2019, I was Head Coach of the Australian Indigenous Women’s team. I have coached hundreds of basketball teams in my career, including many junior teams. As a Coach I have developed very strong relationships with many young people and he continues to mentor them into their adulthood. 


I have founded the Koorie Academy (KA), a non-profit organisation that delivers programs that engage with and empower the younger generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through basketball and cultural activities that allows kids the opportunity to play sport and also learn about their own culture and identity. 


Koorie Academy programs:

  • Provide participants with a connection to culture, country and community through storytelling and participation in cultural activities

  • Divert participants away from negative interaction with the Justice system and facilitates a connection with community groups and positive role models

  • Offer participants an opportunity to gain learning skills to support them in following pathways to higher education and meaningful employment 

  • Improve physical, social and emotional wellbeing 

  • Promote respectful relationships and gender equality amongst participants, families and community. 


Our programs are hosted by KA coaches alongside and with community Aboriginal Elders and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait leaders and in partnership with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait tribes and representative groups, the Local Government Authorities and local sporting associations across Australia.

Our Coaches

Koorie Academy has a team of Coaches that support children and young people who participate in our clinics and various events throughout the year. Our Coaches include; Chris Patton, Wundarra Thomas, Davo Hickey, Monique Conti, Bianca Baldwin, Nicholas Currie, Mason Peatling and more.

Our Ambassadors

We are proud to have a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pioneers who mentor Koorie Academy towards ensuring the best outcomes for mob.

Uncle Danny Morseu

Uncle Danny Morseu, was born on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. In 1979 he played for the St Kilda team that won Australia’s inaugural National Basketball League (NBL) championship. The following year he became the first Torres Strait Islander to represent Australia at an Olympics Games- he played in seven matches at the Moscow Olympics, and in a further eight at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. In 1987, playing for the Brisbane Bullets, he won another NBL title. In April 2003, having played a total of 217 NBL matches over ten seasons, he became the first Indigenous player to be inducted into the NBL’s Hall of Fame. 


Justin Mohammed

Justin Mohammed, a proud Gooreng Gooreng man from Bundaberg in Queensland. Justin has worked with Victorian Aboriginal communities for 20 years. Over two decades, he worked his way up from a youth worker to health services manager, CEO and then Chairperson. Mr Mohamed is a strong advocate for the rights and self-determination of Aboriginal people and fights for the recognition of more than 150 Aboriginal community controlled primary health services as key to closing the appalling gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health outcomes. 

Aunty Carolyn Briggs

A proud Yaluk-ut Weelam and Boon Wurrung elder, and the Boon Wur-rung representative in the City of Port Phillip. Aunty Carolyn is also the founder and chair of the Boon Wur-rung Foundation. She was awarded the National Aboriginal Elder of the Year in 2011 by the National NAID-OC Committee and was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2005. Aunty Caroline was awarded a Member of the Order 
of Australia as part of the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.


Davo Hickey

Melbourne United have signed 22-year-old guard William ‘Davo’ Hickey to a 2-year Development Play-er contract, with the second year a club option. Hickey, an indigenous player originally from Sydney, is a proud Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi/Gomeroi man. He joins the club in line with the NBL’s Reconcilia-tion Action Plan initiatives.

The Koorie Academy Board of Directors

Founder and Director: Ricky Baldwin
Director: Natasha Ferre
Director: Leanne Brooke
Director: Teuila Reid
Director: Lauren Ryan

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