GEELONG is a long way from Darwin, but the continued presence of salt water grounds young Cat Stephanie Williams.
The 19-year-old proud Larrakia and Iwaidja woman has lived in the coastal town for the past few years, boarding at Geelong College and now playing for the Cats.
"She is a salt water girl, definitely, and we have that connection with the salt water," Lorraine Williams, Stephanie's mum, said.
"With us, we refer to ourselves as Larrakia people, as salt water people. Even when you come down here, the salt water is really beautiful. It's calming and it feels like home."
Williams has taken a slightly unconventional route through the NAB pathways, playing for Geelong Falcons in the NAB League because of her schooling, but representing the Northern Territory and Central Allies in the NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships.
"From there, things got really serious, because people were able to see me," Williams said.
"I was told there were clubs interested in me."
Williams wears her older sister's initials – KW – on the strapping tape on her wrist, after she passed away the night before the key forward played in a Grand Final.
She was named best on ground.
"She was my number one supporter, came to all my games, flew wherever she needed to be in the crowd, and sometimes when I do take that look around the stadium, [I know] she's here, and she would be cheering me on," Williams said.
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