• PickStar

Case Study: AFL and AFLW Stars Help Kick Smoking in Western Australia

The quit smoking message is notoriously difficult to communicate, particularly when the target audience is young people. That's why Mawarnkarra Health Services engaged PickStar to find footy stars to join their quit-smoking campaign in regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


Mawarnkarra Health Services, the largest primary health care provider to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the Roebourne region of Western Australia.


Josh Kennedy (AFL, West Coast)

Willie Rioli (AFL, West Coast)

Kirby Bentley (AFLW, Fremantle)

Alicia Janz (AFLW, Fremantle)


Sports stars attend and promote the 'Kick Smoking to Kick Goals' event in Roebourne, WA, on 9 December 2018, to educate the community about what people can achieve if they live a smoking free, healthy lifestyle.

Connecting with PickStar:

Mawarnkarra Health Services reached out to PickStar looking for high-profile AFL and AFLW stars from Western Australia to join their 'Kick Smoking to Kick Goals' event in Roebourne.

Smoking is of great concern to the Roebourne community in Western Australia, where children as young as eight are smoking on a regular basis.

Mawarnkarra understood that a campaign featuring footy stars, who are respected and revered by younger members of the community, would help the anti-smoking message resonate.

The athletes were asked to share their health, fitness and wellbeing message with the young people, then lead a skills clinic.

Mawarnkarra staff browsed PickStar's list of 1200+ sports stars, including 70 AFL and AFLW players past and present from Western Australia. The client then shortlisted six preferences and submitted the request to the PickStar team.

The shortlisted athletes were instantly notified of the request, and quickly responded. Mawarnkarra was excited to book West Coast premiership players Josh Kennedy and Willie Rioli, along with AFLW Fremantle players Kirby Bentley and Alicia Janz.


The athletes woke up bright and early for a two-hour flight from Perth to Karratha, before driving 40-minutes to Roebourne.

The sports stars spoke to the community about the risks of smoking and the benefits of sport and exercise.

They then held a footy clinic and goal competitions with the kids of Roebourne and Wickham, and Tackling Indigenous Smoking merchandise was given out as prizes.

Kids from the community were ecstatic to be able to meet their heroes and the client was very pleased with the commitment and efforts of the sports stars to embrace the campaign and its message throughout the day.

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