Proposal: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre at Princes Park

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fnm_just a man

Club Legend
Aug 11, 2008
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After the talk in the Zac Williams thread regarding the thrill of having so many Indigenous Australian players on our list, I thought it a good time to mention a proposal I raised with the Club a little over a month ago, which received no response.

The proportional representation of Indigenous Australians playing Aussie Rules is probably the thing I am most proud of about the game, and I too am thrilled that we have so many Indigenous players on our list. Looking at AFL as a profession, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) representation far exceeds ATSI representation in other industries. I can’t help but imagine that every Indigenous player is inspiring a young (and/or old) First Nations person to chase their dreams or to walk a little taller and speak a little louder.

I am white and can not speak on behalf of the ATSI community, but my proposition to the Club was that we create, in consultation with Indigenous players, First Nations communities and leaders, a major multi-purpose cultural and education centre. A place for visitors to learn the unique and varied histories of First Nations people generally, as well as recognition of all past and present players in Aussie Rules and the impact they have had on First Nations communities. Just as importantly, I want it to provide a space within the Club for Carlton’s Indigenous players (past and present) to feel comfortable - somewhere they can immerse themselves away from the regular requirements of being an AFL player, where they can relax, reflect, enjoy themselves, hold meetings etc. From my point of view, I imagine there is a massive lifestyle and cultural difference shifting from being a junior player to an AFL player, especially so when moving from interstate. I envisage a place that assists in the transition to the AFL for Indigenous players by providing support services focusing on their well-being and ongoing mental health.

To my knowledge, no such facility currently exists at an AFL club, so I see it as a unique opportunity for the Club to take a lead and to make a statement. I feel like the timing is right too, with Eddie Betts at the Club as well as several other Indigenous players.

There could well be other benefits to the Club in the form of sponsorship, good will and even potentially attracting players. These matters are far from the driving force, but are worth acknowledging.

Anyhow, I only sent it to the general Carlton email address. As I said, I received no response but before I follow-up, I was hoping to gauge the feeling of fans on this board towards such a proposal.

Cheers
 

Doro

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After the talk in the Zac Williams thread regarding the thrill of having so many Indigenous Australian players on our list, I thought it a good time to mention a proposal I raised with the Club a little over a month ago, which received no response.

The proportional representation of Indigenous Australians playing Aussie Rules is probably the thing I am most proud of about the game, and I too am thrilled that we have so many Indigenous players on our list. Looking at AFL as a profession, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) representation far exceeds ATSI representation in other industries. I can’t help but imagine that every Indigenous player is inspiring a young (and/or old) First Nations person to chase their dreams or to walk a little taller and speak a little louder.

I am white and can not speak on behalf of the ATSI community, but my proposition to the Club was that we create, in consultation with Indigenous players, First Nations communities and leaders, a major multi-purpose cultural and education centre. A place for visitors to learn the unique and varied histories of First Nations people generally, as well as recognition of all past and present players in Aussie Rules and the impact they have had on First Nations communities. Just as importantly, I want it to provide a space within the Club for Carlton’s Indigenous players (past and present) to feel comfortable - somewhere they can immerse themselves away from the regular requirements of being an AFL player, where they can relax, reflect, enjoy themselves, hold meetings etc. From my point of view, I imagine there is a massive lifestyle and cultural difference shifting from being a junior player to an AFL player, especially so when moving from interstate. I envisage a place that assists in the transition to the AFL for Indigenous players by providing support services focusing on their well-being and ongoing mental health.

To my knowledge, no such facility currently exists at an AFL club, so I see it as a unique opportunity for the Club to take a lead and to make a statement. I feel like the timing is right too, with Eddie Betts at the Club as well as several other Indigenous players.

There could well be other benefits to the Club in the form of sponsorship, good will and even potentially attracting players. These matters are far from the driving force, but are worth acknowledging.

Anyhow, I only sent it to the general Carlton email address. As I said, I received no response but before I follow-up, I was hoping to gauge the feeling of fans on this board towards such a proposal.

Cheers
It's a nice idea, just not sure Carlton is an ideal location. An area with a higher indigenous population would allow a much greater community engagement. Be interested if you do get a response though.:thumbsu:
 

GapInIkonPark

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I think there is a lot of merit in your idea fnm_just a man

I believe Richmond has an indigenous program / centre, see:

https://www.agcoombs.com.au/who-we-are/community/korin-gamadji-institute-kgi/

Carlton has a Sports Administration course too and is reasonably-purposing Ikon Park as a community facility / lead ground for AFLW.

Something that is targeted and addresses a need for indigenous people (so not token) would build on the Carlton Respects and the brand.
 

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fnm_just a man

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Aug 11, 2008
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I think there is a lot of merit in your idea fnm_just a man

I believe Richmond has an indigenous program / centre, see:

https://www.agcoombs.com.au/who-we-are/community/korin-gamadji-institute-kgi/

Carlton has a Sports Administration course too and is reasonably-purposing Ikon Park as a community facility / lead ground for AFLW.

Something that is targeted and addresses a need for indigenous people (so not token) would build on the Carlton Respects and the brand.
Thanks for the link! Wasn’t aware of it. Cheers
 

found object

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It's a nice idea, just not sure Carlton is an ideal location. An area with a higher indigenous population would allow a much greater community engagement. Be interested if you do get a response though.:thumbsu:
I don't mind the idea. There's a large indigenous population nearby in Fitzroy / Collingwood.

Related Princes Park article…
 

Doro

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I don't mind the idea. There's a large indigenous population nearby in Fitzroy / Collingwood.

Related Princes Park article…
Looking at the population numbers, it is 0.6% in major cities in Victoria or just over 30000 in a population of 4.5 million. It is a good idea though.

https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/profile-of-indigenous-australians
 
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It's a nice idea, just not sure Carlton is an ideal location. An area with a higher indigenous population would allow a much greater community engagement. Be interested if you do get a response though.:thumbsu:
Hey mate, Thornbury has a huge indigenous population - as does a lot of the inner north. I think Carlton is an amazing spot for it. We’ve also been a great destination for indigenous players over the years. Would be a very proud bagger if something like this got over the line.
 

Jabba73

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Now is not the ideal time for this sort of idea to be followed up at the club as they are throwing all their resources at the trade period. Give it a few days after the club has finalised the list and then send a follow up email, would suggest you address it to someone in particular like the CEO.

Would be one of the better ideas the club has received in recent years
 

GalaxyBlue

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I did some cultural awareness training through my employer at the Koori Heritage Trust in Fed Square, and I remember they mentioned that while football clubs and the like provide good support, a lot of the attention on indigenous communities goes to those in rural/remote areas - not as much to those in cities/urban centres. So I’m wondering if there may well be an opportunity in that space?
 

BlueGum

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From Darebin Heritage
When the headquarters of the Aboriginal Advancement League began to fall into disrepair in the late 1970s, the League was able to secure land from the Victoria Government on the site of the old Glen Iris Brick Company. This was the first freehold land granted to Aboriginals in Victoria, fittingly it was in Northcote. Through the state and federal governments, along with the Aboriginal Development Commission and the League itself, $750,000 was raised for the construction of a new centre. Alongside, the centre, a playing oval was built: The Sir Douglas Nicholls Reserve. Northcote has remained a centre for Aboriginal people in Melbourne with over 1,000 calling the city of Darebin home, making it one of the largest Indigenous communities in Melbourne. Doug Nicholls played an instrumental role in making Northcote, and Darebin, a home for Aboriginal Australians.

The oval is on St Georges Rd and hosts several indigenous sporting sides. Nicholls played and coached with the Northcote Brickfielders and was a key driver at AAL.

I ilke your idea fnm, and reckon this would be the better location. Very happy for Carlton to contribute resources to help get it up and running.
 

FitzroyBlueBagger

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After the talk in the Zac Williams thread regarding the thrill of having so many Indigenous Australian players on our list, I thought it a good time to mention a proposal I raised with the Club a little over a month ago, which received no response.

The proportional representation of Indigenous Australians playing Aussie Rules is probably the thing I am most proud of about the game, and I too am thrilled that we have so many Indigenous players on our list. Looking at AFL as a profession, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) representation far exceeds ATSI representation in other industries. I can’t help but imagine that every Indigenous player is inspiring a young (and/or old) First Nations person to chase their dreams or to walk a little taller and speak a little louder.

I am white and can not speak on behalf of the ATSI community, but my proposition to the Club was that we create, in consultation with Indigenous players, First Nations communities and leaders, a major multi-purpose cultural and education centre. A place for visitors to learn the unique and varied histories of First Nations people generally, as well as recognition of all past and present players in Aussie Rules and the impact they have had on First Nations communities. Just as importantly, I want it to provide a space within the Club for Carlton’s Indigenous players (past and present) to feel comfortable - somewhere they can immerse themselves away from the regular requirements of being an AFL player, where they can relax, reflect, enjoy themselves, hold meetings etc. From my point of view, I imagine there is a massive lifestyle and cultural difference shifting from being a junior player to an AFL player, especially so when moving from interstate. I envisage a place that assists in the transition to the AFL for Indigenous players by providing support services focusing on their well-being and ongoing mental health.

To my knowledge, no such facility currently exists at an AFL club, so I see it as a unique opportunity for the Club to take a lead and to make a statement. I feel like the timing is right too, with Eddie Betts at the Club as well as several other Indigenous players.

There could well be other benefits to the Club in the form of sponsorship, good will and even potentially attracting players. These matters are far from the driving force, but are worth acknowledging.

Anyhow, I only sent it to the general Carlton email address. As I said, I received no response but before I follow-up, I was hoping to gauge the feeling of fans on this board towards such a proposal.

Cheers
Amazing idea, hopefully a follow up with the club enables you both touching base with one another and something taking off from there... Best of luck 👍
 

Doro

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Plenty indigenous people in Carlton. The health service is just on Nicholson street.
The link above has the numbers. 800,000 identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, 30,000 of those in the major cities of Victoria. It's not a huge population in Melbourne, doesn't mean this idea is without merit though.
 

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Brutalitops

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The link above has the numbers. 800,000 identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, 30,000 of those in the major cities of Victoria. It's not a huge population in Melbourne, doesn't mean this idea is without merit though.
Do all Carlton supporters live in Carlton or even Melbourne? Trust me, if you try and do a CFC cultural centre regionally youre gonna start drama.
 

Doro

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Do all Carlton supporters live in Carlton or even Melbourne? Trust me, if you try and do a CFC cultural centre regionally youre gonna start drama.
Huh? What drama? I'm interested in the idea, unsure of the community engagement with it. We aren't executing decisions here, just talking about them.
 

Cripps 'n' Blue Bloods

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After the talk in the Zac Williams thread regarding the thrill of having so many Indigenous Australian players on our list, I thought it a good time to mention a proposal I raised with the Club a little over a month ago, which received no response.

The proportional representation of Indigenous Australians playing Aussie Rules is probably the thing I am most proud of about the game, and I too am thrilled that we have so many Indigenous players on our list. Looking at AFL as a profession, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) representation far exceeds ATSI representation in other industries. I can’t help but imagine that every Indigenous player is inspiring a young (and/or old) First Nations person to chase their dreams or to walk a little taller and speak a little louder.

I am white and can not speak on behalf of the ATSI community, but my proposition to the Club was that we create, in consultation with Indigenous players, First Nations communities and leaders, a major multi-purpose cultural and education centre. A place for visitors to learn the unique and varied histories of First Nations people generally, as well as recognition of all past and present players in Aussie Rules and the impact they have had on First Nations communities. Just as importantly, I want it to provide a space within the Club for Carlton’s Indigenous players (past and present) to feel comfortable - somewhere they can immerse themselves away from the regular requirements of being an AFL player, where they can relax, reflect, enjoy themselves, hold meetings etc. From my point of view, I imagine there is a massive lifestyle and cultural difference shifting from being a junior player to an AFL player, especially so when moving from interstate. I envisage a place that assists in the transition to the AFL for Indigenous players by providing support services focusing on their well-being and ongoing mental health.

To my knowledge, no such facility currently exists at an AFL club, so I see it as a unique opportunity for the Club to take a lead and to make a statement. I feel like the timing is right too, with Eddie Betts at the Club as well as several other Indigenous players.

There could well be other benefits to the Club in the form of sponsorship, good will and even potentially attracting players. These matters are far from the driving force, but are worth acknowledging.

Anyhow, I only sent it to the general Carlton email address. As I said, I received no response but before I follow-up, I was hoping to gauge the feeling of fans on this board towards such a proposal.

Cheers
Love the idea. I don't pretend to be knowledgeable in these areas, but the more awareness the better IMO.
Having just moved from suburban Melbourne to Bendigo earlier this year, I've grown more interested in the history of the local area.
Not sure if it would help, but if you got a change.org petition going, I'd happily sign it.
 

Brutalitops

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Huh? What drama? I'm interested in the idea, unsure of the community engagement with it. We aren't executing decisions here, just talking about them.
I just meant within the Victorian Aboriginal community. Trying to choose between Shepparton, Horsham, Moe, Warrnambool or anywhere will put noses out of joint.
 

fnm_just a man

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Wow - so happy with the responses I’ve received so far! Some interesting insights, suggestions and great to see a lot of positivity! Love it... I don’t think I’ve ever multi-quoted, so we’ll see how this goes...

I don't mind the idea. There's a large indigenous population nearby in Fitzroy / Collingwood.

Related Princes Park article…
This was an awesome read. I‘d encourage everyone to have a look at it. I don’t remember seeing the article at the time. Thanks!

Hey mate, Thornbury has a huge indigenous population - as does a lot of the inner north. I think Carlton is an amazing spot for it. We’ve also been a great destination for indigenous players over the years. Would be a very proud bagger if something like this got over the line.
👍🏻 I don’t know if it’s any more or less than other clubs, but I do feel like we really embrace our Indigenous players. I’d be super proud too. Cheers

Now is not the ideal time for this sort of idea to be followed up at the club as they are throwing all their resources at the trade period. Give it a few days after the club has finalised the list and then send a follow up email, would suggest you address it to someone in particular like the CEO.

Would be one of the better ideas the club has received in recent years
Agreed. Don’t intend following up just yet and am still considering the best way to go about it. Perhaps I can write something in consultation with the BF crew.

I did some cultural awareness training through my employer at the Koori Heritage Trust in Fed Square, and I remember they mentioned that while football clubs and the like provide good support, a lot of the attention on indigenous communities goes to those in rural/remote areas - not as much to those in cities/urban centres. So I’m wondering if there may well be an opportunity in that space?
That’s interesting to read regrading urban support v remote. It’s something that I hadn’t considered, but now that you mention it, it does seem that way in the general coverage. Sounds like some rewarding training!

From Darebin Heritage
When the headquarters of the Aboriginal Advancement League began to fall into disrepair in the late 1970s, the League was able to secure land from the Victoria Government on the site of the old Glen Iris Brick Company. This was the first freehold land granted to Aboriginals in Victoria, fittingly it was in Northcote. Through the state and federal governments, along with the Aboriginal Development Commission and the League itself, $750,000 was raised for the construction of a new centre. Alongside, the centre, a playing oval was built: The Sir Douglas Nicholls Reserve. Northcote has remained a centre for Aboriginal people in Melbourne with over 1,000 calling the city of Darebin home, making it one of the largest Indigenous communities in Melbourne. Doug Nicholls played an instrumental role in making Northcote, and Darebin, a home for Aboriginal Australians.

The oval is on St Georges Rd and hosts several indigenous sporting sides. Nicholls played and coached with the Northcote Brickfielders and was a key driver at AAL.

I ilke your idea fnm, and reckon this would be the better location. Very happy for Carlton to contribute resources to help get it up and running.
Great read and something for me/us to consider. I guess in my mind, I felt that some of our Indigenous players may play a role (if they wanted to) in running the centre.. whether that be by taking visitor groups through, helping in admin or in any other way.. On top of that, in my mind, it would be a place for our Indigenous players to find a place of comfort - somewhere they can hang out, chill, study or anything else for their own well-being. It’s all food for thought!

Amazing idea, hopefully a follow up with the club enables you both touching base with one another and something taking off from there... Best of luck 👍
Thanks! Fingers crossed!

Love the idea. I don't pretend to be knowledgeable in these areas, but the more awareness the better IMO.
Having just moved from suburban Melbourne to Bendigo earlier this year, I've grown more interested in the history of the local area.
Not sure if it would help, but if you got a change.org petition going, I'd happily sign it.
I’m much the same and have much the same attitude - the more awareness the better! I have considered the change.org petitition. Weighing up a few ideas at the moment, but I think for now, I will still contact the Club directly and see if I can’t instigate some discussion. I could try and contact Eddie and see what he thinks about the idea as well.

————————————————————

All in all, I’m loving the positivity around the suggestion, from everyone. I guess it’s a discussion that I hope continues among our BF community, as at this point it’s just an open idea so the more brainstorming the better 🙂 Perhaps, when the time comes, I can provide a draft here and see if it gets the BF tick of approval?
 

fnm_just a man

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Huh? What drama? I'm interested in the idea, unsure of the community engagement with it. We aren't executing decisions here, just talking about them.
Hey Doro.. For my benefit, can you explain a little more what your thoughts are around the community engagement aspect of it? Ta!
 

Doro

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Hey Doro.. For my benefit, can you explain a little more what your thoughts are around the community engagement aspect of it? Ta!
I guess I'm wondering if the proposal became a reality what the week to week looks like. You need a group of passionate people who bring the place to life. What sort of events are being run there? Doing some research into the centre at Punt Rd might be helpful. The other thing to consider is the Princes Park upgrade plans are close to being released, so the spaces have likely already been allocated.
 

fnm_just a man

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Aug 11, 2008
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I guess I'm wondering if the proposal became a reality what the week to week looks like. You need a group of passionate people who bring the place to life. What sort of events are being run there? Doing some research into the centre at Punt Rd might be helpful. The other thing to consider is the Princes Park upgrade plans are close to being released, so the spaces have likely already been allocated.
Good point. I’ll try and get to the Punt Rd centre when circumstances allow. I guess with something like this it starts with a broad idea/dream and then it is chopped and changed into something functional - no idea what that looks like.
 

lily of laguna

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Apr 24, 2007
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After the talk in the Zac Williams thread regarding the thrill of having so many Indigenous Australian players on our list, I thought it a good time to mention a proposal I raised with the Club a little over a month ago, which received no response.

The proportional representation of Indigenous Australians playing Aussie Rules is probably the thing I am most proud of about the game, and I too am thrilled that we have so many Indigenous players on our list. Looking at AFL as a profession, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) representation far exceeds ATSI representation in other industries. I can’t help but imagine that every Indigenous player is inspiring a young (and/or old) First Nations person to chase their dreams or to walk a little taller and speak a little louder.

I am white and can not speak on behalf of the ATSI community, but my proposition to the Club was that we create, in consultation with Indigenous players, First Nations communities and leaders, a major multi-purpose cultural and education centre. A place for visitors to learn the unique and varied histories of First Nations people generally, as well as recognition of all past and present players in Aussie Rules and the impact they have had on First Nations communities. Just as importantly, I want it to provide a space within the Club for Carlton’s Indigenous players (past and present) to feel comfortable - somewhere they can immerse themselves away from the regular requirements of being an AFL player, where they can relax, reflect, enjoy themselves, hold meetings etc. From my point of view, I imagine there is a massive lifestyle and cultural difference shifting from being a junior player to an AFL player, especially so when moving from interstate. I envisage a place that assists in the transition to the AFL for Indigenous players by providing support services focusing on their well-being and ongoing mental health.

To my knowledge, no such facility currently exists at an AFL club, so I see it as a unique opportunity for the Club to take a lead and to make a statement. I feel like the timing is right too, with Eddie Betts at the Club as well as several other Indigenous players.

There could well be other benefits to the Club in the form of sponsorship, good will and even potentially attracting players. These matters are far from the driving force, but are worth acknowledging.

Anyhow, I only sent it to the general Carlton email address. As I said, I received no response but before I follow-up, I was hoping to gauge the feeling of fans on this board towards such a proposal.

Cheers
Good on you fnm!

It is a great idea. The connection AFL (Aussie rules more broadly) has with the indigenous community is a large part of my love of the game. Seeing indigenous players achieve greatness and recognition in our game is very inspiring and heart warming.

It would be terrific to see the blues take a very active leadership role in this endeavour.
 

Carl

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To be honest from the little of what you have said i think it would be a waste of money and space. Percentage wise the Aboriginal community have more culture programs/ spaces than anyone else in the community. If the government gave us half a million dollars a year to run i would say go for it, but they won't.

Gives us more details from the email on the proposal.

Why doesn't the club have a multi cultural space?

Why doesn't the club have a space for how the game was created and how it brought the community together

Why don't we build a prayer room? For all religions.

Sounds like it's an idea to get more Aboriginal players to the club?

Good luck i just think we could spend the money more wisely especially with covid19 going on.
 

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