Daniel Edward Meli


I am from Kimbe, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea. I began my Footy career in 1995 as a part of the AFL-PNG Development team, introducing a junior development program into schools.

I represented 3 different provinces during my playing days in the PNG National Championships. I also coached two Provincial teams to win gold in the PNG Games.

I started working with AFL-PNG Development as Regional Manager, based at Lae from 2015 to 2018. In 2019 I moved to Port Moresby to be part of the West Eagles footy club, winning the Port Moresby grand final as an assistant coach.

I took over the role as Head coach in 2020 and won the Premiership again, going back-to-back. I rejoined the AFL-PNG Development team, this time as National Talent Manager, from 2021 to 2023.

Given the amount of rugby fields we have, I am very excited to bring Footy 9s to PNG.

Eliza Barewoi


I was born and bred in the settlements of Gomis Tarangau in Mt. Hagen. My footy career started in 2002 when I was in grade 8 at Tarangau Primary School. Mal Michael from the Brisbane Lions came to Mt. Hagen to run some clinics.

After 3 years of playing junior footy I was thrilled to receive my first PNG jumper. I was part of the under 16 AFL PNG Binatangs squad that went to Cairns, where we won the Queensland Championship.

In 2006 I ended up getting an AFLPNG scholarship to play for a club in Cairns – the Manunda Hawks – and we won the AFL Cairns Premiership.

In 2008 I played for the PNG Mosquitoes in Melbourne, where we won our first International Cup. It was incredible!

I returned home and volunteered for AFLPNG, running clinics at schools and communities around the Highlands Region. The passion for the game got me up to another level when I was appointed an AFLPNG Junior Development officer, running AFL programs in Mt. Hagen and around the Highlands.

I then moved to Port Moresby as a Senior Development Officer. After 3 years I transferred home to Mt. Hagen and started school comps and did clinics and spread the love of footy at the junior level.

In 2018 I returned to Australia to play footy – spending 3 months with the Yass Roos in Canberra and 3 months with the Cairns City Lions in Cairns. I am currently back in Cairns, playing for the Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldogs.

I am excited about the potential of Footy 9s in PNG and indeed, the rest of the Pacific. There are rugby fields all over the Pacific, so being able to play on them is the best way to grow the game.

Lauren Wells


I am Australian born Fijian, my mother hails from the oldest village in Fiji, Viseisei Village Vuda, on the west coast of Viti Levu, in the Ba Province.

I started my football journey quite young, playing in both primary school and high school. I am passionate about the game and was thrilled to see the AFLW introduced.

More than 15 years later, I’ve now played locally for various clubs and been a part of premiership teams, which I am very proud of. I think the real passion for the game and its development came when I was offered an assistant coaching role with U15 Victorian Multicultural/Indigenous squads in 2016 alongside Fijian AFL player and now umpire David Roden. This opportunity to lead the next gen of young women was an awesome privilege, watching their skills and watching them grow. Many of them went on to play VFLW or AFLW.

In 2023 I was introduced to the Footy 9s concept and I saw this as a great opportunity to get our Melbourne Fijian community involved. In partnership with Victorian Kulawai we formed our inaugural Fiji Women’s 9s team, reaching the Grand Final. This was an awesome effort for girls who hadn’t played footy before.

This has ignited the flame to be a part of AFI and help develop the game, not only for our community here but also back home in the islands. I look forward to being a part of something great! 🙂

Billy Manu


I am originally from the Solomon Islands. My Dad is from Malaita Province (Kwara’ae) and my Mum is from Renbell Province.

I first picked up the game when I was based in Nauru in 2014. I played one season and really enjoyed it. I moved to Australia and played in one of the top leagues in Geelong (GFL) in 2018.

In 2023 I coached the first Solomon Islands Footy 9s team, which participated in the AFI Touch Footy World Cup in Melbourne. None of players had ever played Footy before, but I knew the talent was there.

We returned to the Touch Footy World Cup in 2024 and were crowned Champions of both Division 1 and Division 2! That’s a massive testimony to our group of players, who trained hard and were eager to improve.

I believe that Footy 9s enhances community collaboration and bonding, and is fantastic in bringing diverse cultures and countries together.

I can’t wait to see this game introduced to the Solomon Islands and other countries in the Pacific.

Darrius Detenamo


I served as the Vice President of Nauru Rugby from 2013 to 2015, and was Team Manager for the Nauru Rugby 7s team at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea in 2015.

I’m a big sports fan, and during the season I switch my support between the Brisbane Lions, Brisbane Broncos, and the Queensland Reds.

I’m very passionate about Footy in the Pacific and very much looking forward to growing Footy 9s throughout the region.

Kerryanne Iwugia


I was born in Australia and raised in Nauru. I am the descendant of Chief T. Detudamo and the granddaughter of a prominent politician, the late Buraro Detudamo. He and the first governments of Nauru officially made Aussie Rules Nauru’s national sport.

Footy is a sport that everyone knows, enjoys and competes in, representing their districts – both men and women of all ages. I volunteered in many sectors in different communities, I am currently the sports coordinator of the Nauru Community of Australia (NCA) and have been working closely with our community throughout the country. We entered 3 teams in the most recent World 9s in Melbourne – Women’s, Men’s Division 1 & Men’s Division 2. Our Division 2 Men’s won their first AFI championsnhip! I am honoured to be part of the AFI Pacific Commission team, to promote and voice AFI and bring communities together through sport.

Kellie Adam


Having grown up in Melbourne and spending my teenage years in Nauru, I’ve been around footy for as long as I can remember, both as a spectator and also as a volunteer on game day. Now as a committee member for our Nauru community, I’ve been part of organising our community’s participation in Footy tournaments.

I’m motivated by the power of sport, especially Footy, to create an inclusive atmosphere that brings communities together to form new friendships, have some fun and learn about each other’s cultures and traditions.

My professional background is bridging the gap between people and process while making sure everyone gets a fair go. I’m looking forward to working with AFI Pacific to develop grassroots pathways for communities throughout the Pacific that focus on giving more people more opportunities through Footy 9s.