Toast Danny Frawley’s legacy spurs new $16m centre at Moorabbin

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George

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Danny Frawley’s widow, Anita, says one of the St Kilda champion’s greatest legacies will be to “make a difference” for those battling mental health issues.
Mrs Frawley revealed plans for a new $16m Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing at the Moorabbin headquarters of his beloved Saints.

“Danny just wanted to help people. He suffered so much, and for this centre to come through is just incredible,” Mrs Frawley said, speaking publicly for the first time since his September 2019 death.

“Even though he’s not here, he will make a difference.”

Frawley was a fierce advocate for mental health awareness, talking openly about his own struggles in the hope of inspiring others to seek help.

The centre to be named in his honour, featuring classroom spaces, consultation suites and breakout areas in the Moorabbin grandstand and aquatic facility, will open to the local community in late 2021.

“This is just so powerful and we are so incredibly proud,” Mrs Frawley said, flanked by two of their three daughters, Chelsea and Danielle. Their third child, Keeley, is studying in the US.

“Moorabbin was his home, that’s what the girls and I always thought anyway, he spoke about it so proudly.

“His famous quote about ‘manning up’ is just so relevant and this centre will help bring it all to fruition.

“His footy achievements were incredible, but this, in time, will really stand as his legacy. Everyone knows how passionate he was about mental health.

“He wanted people who were suffering, men especially, to speak up and just talk about it and be listened to.”

Mrs Frawley said the 14 months since Frawley’s passing had been “incredibly hard” for the family.

“You wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” she said.

“It’s my passion and my daughters’ as well, to try and offer support to others, and this centre for anyone that has got a mental illness, it’s just exactly what we need.

“You take one step forward and two back. Most people who have been in the situation we have been in, that’s what they say — you sort of start to climb out, but grief is insurmountable.

“But the support we have been given has been amazing.”

The Herald Sun revealed in September Frawley was suffering Stage II CTE — a crippling neurological disorder linked to repeated head knocks — when his four-wheel drive struck a tree in Millbrook, near Ballan, on September 9 last year.

The federal government will pour $8.5m into the Moorabbin project and the Andrews government $7.3m.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said: “Spud Frawley was a legend of the game, respected as much for his achievements on the field, as for his wit, humour and good nature off the field.

“This facility will not only honour his memory, but be a lasting legacy, helping people of all ages, improve their physical and mental health.”

Sport Minister Martin Pakula said: “Danny Frawley was an inspirational Victorian on and off the field, and helped many people through his efforts to promote awareness of mental health issues.

“The establishment of this centre is a fitting acknowledgment of his work and his standing in the community – and will provide an enduring legacy.”

St Kilda chief executive Matt Finnis, who drove the concept, said “the key strengths of the Frawley Centre will be it’s integration of physical and mental health facilities and services but also the fact that community members will directly engage with experts in their field and programs which cater for at-risk groups and individuals.

“It’s not just about current and former players. It’s about their families and the broader community. I know Danny would be really proud of that.”
Frawley played 240 games for the Saints, 177 of them as captain, and was inducted into St Kilda’s Hall of Fame in 2007.​
 

George

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Personally big on mental health initiatives as a long time sufferer so this is beautiful to see. This club are just supported by truly terrific people, and to have this as now part of our state of the art facilities at RSEA is fantastic.

We are becoming true leaders, and I'm proud to be a St.Kilda supporter on days like today.
 

sammm

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i had to put my comments back in onto this thread as well

wow, just wow!!!!!!

Matt Finnis you are are genius!!!!!

The Presidenst and the board you are all magnificent!

We all should emailing the club and congratulating them for helping to get this established.

Its not just about winning premierships (although it certainly will help) but this, is tremendous and a leader in this field
 

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saints man

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What the club has done in the past few years to support our players, their families and the wider community. Makes me really proud to be a St Kilda support, mental health is difficult and it is great our club has taken a strong stance on looking at health holistically. I don't care any more about the jokes about St Kilda only winning one flag, that will change with this group, but because of this fact. We have had to work really hard in improving our club in all other areas and becoming a place which celebrates all people and what ever their story is. Add a flag to this mix, fu** me we are going to be a powerful club
 

The Jack

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Question. Is this separate to the final stage of the original plans with the grand stand? Or is this totally different?

Fantastic from the club and all involved. We are on the right path now.
 

Joffaboy

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Personally big on mental health initiatives as a long time sufferer so this is beautiful to see. This club are just supported by truly terrific people, and to have this as now part of our state of the art facilities at RSEA is fantastic.

We are becoming true leaders, and I'm proud to be a St.Kilda supporter on days like today.
Really sorry to hear about your troubles George. Please, please please look after yourself, and talk to the right people. I have been surrounded by people with mental health issue my whole life, my mother had her challenges her whole life, both daughters have suffered with anxiety (one because she is autistic) and had many friends with mental health issues.

I have not suffered at all which leads me to think I may be a carrier ;)

As for the initiative. the Saints have been critisised in some areas for Virtue Signalling re the Pride match and other issues. I would hope nobody critisises Mat Finnis and his team for this fantastic achievement. So required and while we have come a long way, there is still a stigma attached to mental health.
I loved Danny Frawley as a player and it is horrific that he suffered with CTE which like overseas has been the catalyst for football stars ending their lives.
One thing I can't agree with is Danny and his 'man up' mantra. No that is a signal to 'just get over it' in my view. My mother couldn't just 'get over it', my daughters couldn't just stop being anxious, we don't 'man up' in the classical sense, we talk, we listen, we get help, we ask RUOK, not just on the day, but every day, and follow up.

This is important and it fill my heart with the greatest pride that my football club is at the forefront of this issue.

We have had a great year on the field, we have come home to Moorabbin, we are building a great facility, we have put together a switched on admin and coaching staff, and we have drafted and recruited well.

But to me this is the best news involving our club in a long long time.
 

Winmar2Lockett

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Really sorry to hear about your troubles George. Please, please please look after yourself, and talk to the right people. I have been surrounded by people with mental health issue my whole life, my mother had her challenges her whole life, both daughters have suffered with anxiety (one because she is autistic) and had many friends with mental health issues.

I have not suffered at all which leads me to think I may be a carrier ;)

As for the initiative. the Saints have been critisised in some areas for Virtue Signalling re the Pride match and other issues. I would hope nobody critisises Mat Finnis and his team for this fantastic achievement. So required and while we have come a long way, there is still a stigma attached to mental health.
I loved Danny Frawley as a player and it is horrific that he suffered with CTE which like overseas has been the catalyst for football stars ending their lives.
One thing I can't agree with is Danny and his 'man up' mantra. No that is a signal to 'just get over it' in my view. My mother couldn't just 'get over it', my daughters couldn't just stop being anxious, we don't 'man up' in the classical sense, we talk, we listen, we get help, we ask RUOK, not just on the day, but every day, and follow up.

This is important and it fill my heart with the greatest pride that my football club is at the forefront of this issue.

We have had a great year on the field, we have come home to Moorabbin, we are building a great facility, we have put together a switched on admin and coaching staff, and we have drafted and recruited well.

But to me this is the best news involving our club in a long long time.
Man Up is spoken about in terms of opening up, seeking help when you need it and supporting those when they do... not the old stereotype of stoically toughing things out and keeping them to yourself.

It's about reclaiming that phrase to encourage men (and boys) to do the things that you mentioned.

Wonderful work by the club... congratulations to all involved.
 

1873 United

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Awesome news ! What end of the ground are they planning to build it on?
From the pictures, I think there is an extension at both ends of the current facility. I walk through there most mornings, so it will be interesting to see this develop over the next 12 months.

I remember that there was supposed be a grandstand built a one point in time, I think there was a plan in early 2018?

Should be great for the club and the community to have such a facility.
 

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Sainttony

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It looks to be at the Nepean Hwy end past the goals. Is there enough room there?

Great initiative and we should all be very proud of the fact that we as a club are focussed on the community and people in general. All we need now is that second flag, which I believe is not far away.
 

Crusty Undies

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gringo2011

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Can Josh Frydenberg stop trying to attach his name to achievements of men far greater than himself please?

My wife has a friend that went to uni with him. She said he was hot as fu** back then and was a cocky playa. Now he looks like a carpet salesman that lives in his car or a Denis Denuto suburban conveyancing lawyer.
 

Mat Mann

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It looks to be at the Nepean Hwy end past the goals. Is there enough room there?

Great initiative and we should all be very proud of the fact that we as a club are focussed on the community and people in general. All we need now is that second flag, which I believe is not far away.
from what I can see its essentially stage 3 with a bball court extension behind the goals at sth road end
InkedMoorabbin-Reserve_public-plan_16122016-1_LI.jpg
 

Shell

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Sorry to intrude.. was just doing some spring cleaning came across an old annual from the high school i used to work at. Flicking thru it spotted a picof Frawley at one of the schools sports breakfast they do every year. Just had the biggest smile on his face- just heartbreaking.


Awesome to see this story on the news this evening. Well done to everyone involved.
 
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David the Cat

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It's not often I venture outside the Geelong Board...being a Mod keeps me more than occupied there.

However I wanted to give a huge thumbs up to St Kilda for supporting this initiative. There was some complaint re the cost from a very small contingent...there are naysayers everywhere. I have not been touched directly by depression or any other mental issues, and feel incredibly lucky to have avoided it.

My contribution on the Cat board is set out below.....i just felt compelled to quote it and make the effort to come here and pat the St Kilda Fc on the back.

Great work by all involved that made this happen.


Personally, I don't care if it costs 15 million if it helps save lives, and helps those suffering from being in a dark space to lead productive lives.

That productivity mitigates the cost.

The incidence of depression (not to mention suicides related to it) is endemic in Australia and its incumbent on the Govt to do something about it...our response to this, particularly (but not exclusively) within the indigenous community is not something we can write home about.

As a moderator on this site, I have been stunned by the number of posters on this site who either are suffering from, or touched by mental health issues.

This initiative is long overdue in my opinion.

Well done St Kilda.
 

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