The Ultimate Wheelchair Basketball Challenge for the ACF Cup presented by Outback Academy Australia and The Red Dust Heelers took place on December 8th 2017 at Wanangkura Stadium, South Hedland.

Anika Coppin Foley

Anika is a 25-year-old woman born in Port Hedland with a disability known as Spinal Bifida. Well known to her community Anika had a dream to roll with the Heelers one more time in front of family and friends.

The Heelers are a community of Aboriginal and other athletes with a disability. They use the game of
wheelchair basketball to build healing and friendships across the nation and to fight for increased
awareness about the ability, talent, strengths, and dreams of Aboriginal and other people with disability. In Anika’s words “The Heelers are like another family to me, my brothers and sisters, un-Aboriginal and Aboriginal”

The day was off to a flyer with local hoopsters on fire as wheelchairs flew across the courts for the inaugural event. Wheelchair basketball teams from across the Hedland community battled it out for the ACF Cup.

Hedland Storm eventually rose above the rest and were declared the winners from runners-up North West Alliance, 6-4. Along the way, they defeated rival teams from Fortescue Metals Group, BHP, Rio Tinto, the Town of Port Hedland, a combined team of Veolia and Qube Bulk and Port Hedland Police.

Each team consisted of five players, including a (National Wheelchair Basketball League team) Red Dust Heeler, over six rounds the teams battled out to make semi-finals, which came down to Port Hedland Police versus North West Alliance and Town of Port Hedland versus Hedland Storms. Hedland Storms and North West Alliance played in the grand final with Hedland Storms taking home the win 6-4.

ACF Cup 2017 Champions – Hedland Storms

This day would have not been made possible without Outback Academy Australia, The Red Dust Heelers, Veolia, Roy Hill, North West Alliance, Joanie from HCLA and 101.3 Hedland Radio, IBN and Fair Game.

An extra special thank you to Four Oceans Photography who supplied Ankia and her family a photoshoot and printed photos (and) For Cake Sakes who donated basketball cupcakes for the event. We appreciate every sponsors, donation and community supporter who helped make this day the best for Anika. We look forward to seeing you all next year in Karratha!

Waste Education Program


As an incorporated Joint Venture with Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal partnering entities, NWA has created a shared vision supported by a shared set of values.

Waste Education Program

 The NWA provide educational waste sessions to the local primary schools through out the Pilbara. Our program covers a range of topics including: 

  • What is waste and why is it a problem?
  • How can everyone minimise their waste?
  • The 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
  • Where do recyclable materials go?
  • What are the impacts of littering?
  • How does recycling help the earth?
  • What are the negative impacts of throwing waste into landfill?

The sessions go through several activities with the students including a presentation explaining the 3 R’s, ‘A Waste Audit’ Video – a primary school demonstrates what happens to waste, what they can do to reduce their waste in their lunchboxes, students then participate in and conduct their own school waste audit – and several waste related games.

NWA provide these sessions free of charge to schools, as part of our initiative to give back to the communities in the Pilbara where we operate including Newman, Port Hedland and Karratha.

Keeping Country Clean

The NWA participates in helping communities clean up Country once a year throughout the Pilbara. We work in partnership with local communities to help them collect and dispose of waste. 

This includes working side by side on a volunteering basis with Ranger programs to pick up rubbish that may be damaging to heritage sites.