Jesaulenko Internship

The Jesaulenko Internship is a program run by the AFL Coaches Association in partnership with the AFL. It was created in order to expose multicultural Australians to elite coaching and high performance.


The Jesaulenko Internship, named after former VFL Premiership Player and Coach Alex Jesaulenko, seeks to enable people who have also migrated to Australia to follow Alex’s lead by becoming engaged in the country’s favourite sport: Australian Rules Football.

Community coaches from diverse backgrounds have the opportunity to be part of the special program which involves a ten-week internship at an AFL Club.

The program will specifically educate the interns in the areas of:

  • player development
  • game analysis
  • planning for training and competition
  • injury prevention and rehabilitation
  • coach-to-coach and coach-to-player relationships, and 
  • enhancing leadership skills

The aim of The Jesaulenko Internship is to increase the amount of skilled multicultural coaches in the community, give the coaches the ability to pass on their knowledge and inspire other multicultural and/or non-traditional football background people to become involved in the game. The achievement of these goals will mean more multicultural Australians will have a chance to follow in Jesaulenko’s footsteps.


Alex Jesaulenko was born in Austria in late 1945, shortly after the Second World War ended in Europe. His parents were Russian and Ukrainian and the family immigrated to Australia in 1949. Alex lived in Canberra playing Rugby and Soccer until the age of 14 when he was asked to fill in for a friend’s AFL team. This game commenced an extraordinary VFL career which included coaching Carlton and St Kilda for 140 games, culminating in a Premiership for Carlton in 1979. Alex was recognised as a Legend in the AFL’s Hall of Fame in 2008.