North Melbourne youngster Tarryn Thomas is hoping to become a role model in the Indigenous community, after being featured in a mural for NAIDOC Week on the Our Community House building in North Melbourne.
The mural, featuring the words ‘Treaty’ and ‘Respect, aims to make a statement for Black Lives Matter and reflects on the importance of community and bringing cultural groups together.
“It‘s for such a good cause,” Thomas told The Herald Sun.
“My culture is important to me – as is my family and my other family at North Melbourne Football Club.
“I want to be a role model for young Indigenous kids.”
Thomas is learning off some impressive Indigenous role models himself, having formed a strong relationship with Jed Anderson and Jy Simpkin since joining the club.
“Jed and Jy have been great for me. Both had unbelievable years. I can’t wait to get back out there with them, and the rest of the boys,” he said.
The 20-year-old was saddened by the departure of coach Rhyce Shaw, but is looking forward to the next chapter in his career.
“Rhyce and I had a really good relationship. It was sad to see him go … I really hope he is doing well,” he said.
“I can’t wait to see who our next coach is … but we’ve been very lucky to have (senior assistant coach) John Blakey … he has been good for the group (since joining the club at the end of the season).
“I played on Nick (Blakey’s son) a few times. John has a great relationship with the players already. I can’t wait to see what we can learn from him.”
A Next Generation Academy product, Thomas is excited about what the future holds for him and the Kangaroos.
“This club means so much to me,” he said.
“Ever since I was in the Next Generation Academy (in Tasmania), they have done everything for me.”
“They are just like another family … I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in the future.”