John Moriarty Football (JMF) is Australia’s longest running and most successful Indigenous football initiative for 2-18 year olds. JMF’s transformational skills program uses football for talent and positive change - with a track record of improving school attendance and achieving resilient, healthier outcomes for some of Australia’s most remote communities.


children coached by JMF each week in remote and regional communities


Public schools JMF delivers its in-school curriculum to every week


JMF communities across regional and remote NT, QLD and NSW

The JMF Story

John Moriarty, the first Aboriginal player selected to play football for Australia, and his son James Moriarty co-founded JMF.

John and James launched the pilot program in Borroloola, in the remote Gulf of Carpentaria, NT in 2012. In the decade since, JMF has expanded its hubs to include Dubbo in NSW, Kuranda in QLD and Tennant Creek in NT.

Our goal is to grow JMF through our best practice curriculum and an integrated sport/health delivery. Our core focus is on building wellbeing, protective relationships and community connection, to support learning and football development outcomes.

Our school has noticed an increase in positive behaviour and an increased attendance rate on the days that JMF weave their magic. The first and second lunch clinics have provided a semi-structured environment where the students are able to practice, develop and utilise their skills in an approach that is child centred and team focussed. This approach has seen our children grow in terms of teamsmanship and sportsmanship. The ability to work and play productively in a team environment is what current employers are asking for."

Randal Smith, Principal of Mossman State School

Best Practice Delivery

JMF is a permanent presence in the communities where we operate. We deliver 5-6 days per week to primary and secondary school children, with equal participation of boys and girls, through in-school and after school sessions, school holiday clinics and tournaments.

Grassroots – regular access for remote and regional children to the sporting and health benefits of football.

Advanced players – opportunity to be selected for representative regional pathways.

Talented players – access to a club and school scholarship pathway via the JMF Scholarships & Pathways Program.

Elite players – facilitating Institute of Sport,  A-Leagues, Matildas, Socceroos and International Club pathways.

Indi Footi

Linked to our successful Indi Kindi initiative, Indi Footi is a pre-school football program for 2 to 6 year olds. Delivered by our JMF coaches, Indi Footi activates young brains through movement, and develops basic football and motor skills, balance and coordination in a fun, non-competitive environment.

Sessions focus on fun, discovery-based football activities as well as health and wellbeing components, like breathing exercises to begin to introduce ways to self-calm.

Integrated Approach

We teach skills mastery, and encourage regular school attendance, healthier lifestyles, self-respect and community engagement through football and teamwork.

Our local coaches deliver skill and game training along with healthy meals and snacks in each session. Our meals are designed by a sports dietitian and include nutrients that are often lacking from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s diets in our communities.

We provide wellness education and modelling, covering nutrition, sleep, exercise and self-calming strategies. By teaching emotional self-regulation strategies, we aim to build resilience and capacity in communities where stress and trauma are major contributors to disadvantage.

Through our partnerships with local health networks, we provide vital health information our young participants need.

Our Coaches

One of our strengths is our dedicated staff members. Local employment is at the centre of our commitment and we have a 50/50 gender employment policy. We provide continuous mentoring, development and training of our local coaches through the employment of an embedded FA-qualified in-community coach and mentor.

We provide in-depth football, work skills and leadership training programs to staff, including day-to-day football coaching, session planning and delivery of games, weekend tournaments, school and representative tournaments.

Get involved today and support JMF

ROLE: JMF Community Coach – Kuranda (Qld)

February 15, 2024

ROLE: Head Coach & Mentor – Borroloola (NT)

January 24, 2024

ROLE: Head Coach & Mentor – Tennant Creek (NT)

January 24, 2024

Our Sister Programs

Indi Kindi

A locally-led early years solution integrating health, wellbeing and education to give under five year olds the best start in life.

JMF Scholarships & Pathways

A life-changing pathway for talented young footballers aged 10-18 years in our grassroots JMF program.