Austin Wonaeamirri came from a small community on the Tiwi Islands off the coast of Darwin. In a community fanatical about football he started playing when he was five or six. After being voted the Territory's best player in the 2007 AFL Under 18 Championships, he attracted the interest of talent scouts.
After missing out in the 2006 AFL draft, he arrived at Norwood for the 2007 season on an AFL traineeship, which involved working with Norwood’s development officer conducting coaching clinics at schools around the Norwood zone and generally helping around the club.
Austin embraced the culture of the Redlegs, not only as a player with exciting skills but as a team man in every sense. He became something of a cult figure in a comparatively short time at Norwood and earned the respect of the playing group and all those who came to know him.
Playing in the forward lines Austin showed great speed and balance, and created forward line pressure as a goal kicker. He demonstrated enough to AFL scouts in his year with the Redlegs to suggest that he could go to the next level.
Nathan Bassett has revealed he tried unsuccessfully to convince the Adelaide Crows to draft Austin Wonaeamirri for the 2008 season. Austin was drafted to Melbourne in 2008 and in that season Bassett at full-backhad to quell Wonaeamirri’s influence when the Crows played Melbourne. In that first season with Melbourne, he finished second in the club goalkicking behind Brad Miller.
Wonaeamirri had a poor 2011 season, partially due to his father's death in May, which derailed his pre-season and fitness. He took time off and returned home to the Tiwi Islands before returning to Melbourne midway through the season, managing to play five matches.
Austin was delisted at the end of 2011 and was still playing with the Tiwi Islands Bombers in 2015.
R Crompton Feb 2016