Australian rules footballer and Anishnaabemowin student: Off the clock with Rochelle Allan

Rochelle Allan

Rochelle Allan, Indigenous Peoples’ Undergraduate
Medical Education Program Coordinator


Rochelle has worked with the University of Toronto (U of T) for about nine years.


What do you do off the clock?

I have several interests that keep me busy outside of work. This includes learning the Anishnaabemowin (Ojibwe) language and playing Australian rules football.

What sparked your interest in both of these things?

When I was little, my mom had a book and cassette that she used to try to teach us Anishnaabemowin. But it has only been over the last few years that I have become more actively involved in learning the language. I find it very rewarding.

I started playing Australian rules football after my second year of university. I went home for the summer and several of my friends were playing. After one practice, I was hooked.

Rochelle Allan playing Australian rules football

There had been only one woman involved in the sport here in Ontario before then so I trained with the men’s team. The sport has grown a lot in the last 10 years. I have had the opportunity to play on Team Canada in the first women’s competition at the international cup as well as watch the development of a women’s league in Ontario, including my team the Central Blues AFC.

What influences your work?

I find using Anishnaabemowin with kids really inspiring. They are not worried about memorizing grammar or saying something wrong, which is beautiful and inspiring to watch. It also pushes me to do more so I can bring new games and activities into our interactions.

In my football career, I am inspired by the growth that we have seen in women’s AFL. I really want to encourage women who may not know about the sport to come out and try it.


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