Despite another challenging and interrupted year for the education industry, staff and students at the Richmond Football Club’s Richmond Institute achieved another year of outstanding results in 2021.

This year has seen Richmond Institute deliver four different courses in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology – with each aiming to develop the next generation of sports industry leaders. 

The courses have been delivered to over 300 students across Melbourne, Albury Wodonga, Mildura and even Western Australia, navigating online and in-person learning. 


Richmond Football Club’s Head of Education and Training, Damien Villarosa, said the teaching and support staff were proud of the efforts of so many of their students in 2021.

“After another challenging year, it was fantastic to see so many of our students graduate,” he said.

“We encouraged students to continue to make the most of all opportunities and to find a way forward throughout the year, which they absolute have.” 

Outside of lockdowns, students completing the Richmond Institute’s Dual Diploma still managed a combined 9,458 hours of industry placement. The wide array of placement opportunities afforded to students includes time at Richmond Football Club and within Richmond Institute’s vast sports industry network. 

The placements included working on AFL and AFLW match days at Richmond across several departments, including membership, retail, corporate events and fan engagement. 

“Students met a range of high-quality industry experts, providing them with a well-rounded learning experience along with industry placements that allowed them to apply their skills in a range of settings,” Villarosa added. 

Brendon Gale, Peggy O’Neal and other key Richmond football department staff and senior executives were among the guest speakers Richmond Institute students heard from this year.

School-Based traineeships were popular within Richmond Institute this year, with 72% of students completing their qualification and maintaining ongoing employment with Richmond Football Club’s subsidiary business, Aligned Leisure. 

The inaugural year of the Diploma of Sport online course also saw students gain vital skills and valuable knowledge to kickstart or further enhance their careers in the sports industry. 

“Learning from industry professionals has provided students with an exceptional online experience where students learn at their own pace, which has resulted in an incredibly high completion rate,” Villarosa explained.

“Many students have already moved into a range of exciting roles with the Richmond Football Club, Aligned Leisure, different AFL clubs and other elite sporting organisations, which is an excellent reward for their commitment this year. 

“We are equally pleased to see students transitioning to further education opportunities, with many choosing courses through our education partner Swinburne. 2022 promises to be another great year as we welcome new groups of future sports leaders.”

In 2022, Richmond Institute will introduce a new course in collaboration with Swinburne – a Certificate III in Fitness (Group Fitness Instructor, Gym Instructor) SIS30315. 

A limited number of positions will also be made available at Richmond Institute’s Melbourne and Mildura campuses for the Diploma of Sport/Diploma of Leadership and Management (SIS50319/BSB50420) program.

Courses on offer with Swinburne in 2022: