Hawthorn Indigenous Program Update

Hawthorn Football Club is extremely proud of our partnership with the Epic Good Foundation and are grateful for the contribution they make in creating ongoing opportunities and sustainable social change to Indigenous communities through the Hawthorn Indigenous Program.

This year has seen many different and varied activities as part of the Indigenous Program.

The Worawa Lady Eaglehawks are based in Healesville and are a proud partner of the Hawthorn Indigenous Program. During April the girls visited the Ricoh Centre and were also taken to the AdiCentre to kit themselves out for their next football game. To their surprise, the retail assistant on duty was Cyril Rioli who helped each of the girls pick out their very own pair of new football boots for the season.

Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round is the AFL’s flagship celebration and this year, Hawthorn took on Sydney at the SCG. Shaun Burgoyne was involved in a cultural gift exchange before the coin toss and presented Buddy Franklin with a painting, designed and painted by students from the Worawa Aboriginal College. The painting depicts Bunjil, Spirit Creator of the Kulin Nation on which the Hawks are situated, as he watches over them on Gadigal land, the home of the Swans.

In addition to the match day celebrations, the teams’ playing guernseys were auctioned off with all proceeds being donated to the Indigenous Literacy Fund (ILF). A total of $10,624.80 was raised for the ILF.

With literacy playing such an important role in a number of ‘closing the gap’ initiatives, the Hawthorn Football Club Foundation was proud to support the Epic Good Foundation in Kick On For Literacy, a fun debate during Indigenous Round at the Sydney Writers Festival. Two teams debated the book versus the ball and Hawthorn Football Club donated a number of auction items which helped raise further funds for the ILF.

Photos courtesy of Raquel Linde

The Big River Hawks are another affiliated youth club based out of Katherine in the Northern Territory. Through football, the Big River Hawks encourage young Indigenous men and women to attend school and work towards further education and employment. As part of the club’s partnership with Hawthorn, a select group of Big River Hawks players are rewarded with a trip to Melbourne each year. This year five boys and five girls flew from Darwin to Melbourne to tour the Ricoh Centre, attend a number of AFL, VFL and VFLW games, and spend some valuable time with a number of Hawthorn players.

With the ongoing support of the Epic Good Foundation, Hawthorn Football Club will continue to develop and implement a range of programs for our Indigenous communities and to continue to educate players, coaches, staff and fans on Indigenous culture so that it can be celebrated.

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