08 April 2024

She’s won three premierships and been named in the All-Australian team four times, but finishing her teaching degree is up there with UniSA alum Chelsea Randall’s greatest achievements yet – along with beginning a family.

Chelsea in action on the field

Chelsea Randall

2023 Captain Adelaide Crows
Bachelor of Education

The past 12 months have been pretty full on for Chelsea Randall. While captaining the Crows AFLW team, she was also completing her Bachelor of Education at UniSA. To top off what was already a busy year, she announced her engagement and welcomed her first child.

“I’m passionate about teaching, I think teachers do an amazing job,” says Chelsea.

“They wear so many different hats, they’re not just a teacher they’re also a carer and a coach and even a nurse as well at times. They play a very important role in students’ lives and how they learn not just the educational content, but about life in general.

“I think every student deserves a champion in their life, and for a lot of students their champion may not actually come from home, it may come from a school teacher or a football coach.

Chelsea with a group of young students
Crows AFLW player Chelsea Randall on her teaching placement
in 2023

“That’s something that sits with me, the power to impact and influence and support someone throughout their journey, and I was very lucky to have some amazing teachers and coaches around me that helped me through my journey, so I just want to pay that forward to the next generation.”

It’s little wonder Chelsea feels emotional when she thinks about finishing her university degree late last year. Overall, she’s been striving to reach this goal for 12 years.

The Crows AFLW Captain since 2017, studied part-time with the University of South Australia, having transferred from her home state of Western Australia, and, between her work and football commitments, gaining her degree took longer than she would have liked.

But for Chelsea now 32, the significant journey makes the qualifications even more special.

“To be honest, when I was younger, I had this belief that I wasn’t smart enough to be able to go to university. It’s been challenging the last 12 years but now to be able to say I’ve got a degree behind me and a plan for post footy, it makes me emotional to think about,” she says.

“There were times when I questioned why I was doing it, it’s certainly has been a juggle trying to work full time and captain an elite footy team as well as study, but the flexible arrangements and support I’ve had from family, friends, colleagues, and the uni has made it all possible. I’m proud of myself, but it truly is because of those people around me that I was able to complete it.

“I can’t thank UniSA enough.”

“I did consider jumping straight into a psychology degree,” Chelsea says with a laugh. “I really value education. I love learning and I love being able to apply what I’ve learnt at university in different parts of my life. I thought I’d take a break from some study – it didn’t last too long. I’m currently completing my Certificate IV in Celebrancy to become a marriage celebrant for friends and family."

Chelsea and MJ with their son Tomi
Chelsea and MJ with their son Tomi.
Credit: Fable and Fig Photography

For now, Chelsea is relishing her new role as a parent to her son Tomi with partner Marijana Rajcic. “Tomi is everything, I have no words to describe motherhood, just that it’s the greatest gift of all and that he has brought so much joy into our lives.

“I remember being so relieved when I clicked submit on my final uni assignment. I turned to my pregnant partner MJ and said, ‘OK little one, you can come out now’. Two weeks after that submission, we welcomed our son Tomi into the world.”


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