With the most serious of allegations flying around the Dawks, what can we do and who should we engage to keep our indigenous players safe and not only acknowledged but represented? l am sure that every club is scrambling around right now to find out what practices they have, what processes they followed and what policy they need. My guess is that overall, their findings won’t make for very pleasant reading in many cases.
Longy, Nova, Gav, NLM, Alwyn, Derek, need a voice at the board level and that voice needs to be heard. Their ideas and suggestions also need to included in EFC policy going forward. The above list is just as a start, we need to get them all involved, or as many as we possibly can. We love them all. If the club has made mistakes in the past in our dealings with first nation players, we need to recognize those mistakes, own them and take steps to see they are not repeated in the future. Sheedy also needs to be involved, and l think he would welcome the chance to be involved.
If we’re establishing a Voice to the Board Dean Rioli might be worth considering
Not hire racist old boomers/early gen Xers as coaches or presidents seems to do the trick.
I reckon Dean Rioli would be great.
A representative on the ground in the Tiwi Islands would be helpful, if not essential.
One of the saddest parts, for me at least, of our 20 fall into the abyss has been our corresponding fall from being a league leader in indigenous relationships to being one of the worst. Not just with out lack of on field indigenous talent over the last 20 years but the culture around the club has changed too.
I know that Knights was a racist prick but it seems that only token steps were taken to repair the damage he caused… and you would have to think that Xavier was just as bad… or maybe its Duds that is the racist. Not sure… but I’ve said many times before that I think the club is struggling with our first nations position and it hurts in more ways than one.
I hope that whomever is appointed our new CEO and our new head coach will again take us back to the forefront on these issues. I would also love to be the first club that actively makes a board position for indigenous representation. It is well overdue.
Be careful in calling out someone for being racist
I don’t think it’s fair to entirely blame Knights for our indigenous representation and recruitment going down the toilet post-Sheedy.
Sheedy was a leftover of the old 80s school where the head coach did everything, and he had a lot more say in drafting than most coaches did by the time the mid-2000s rolled around. Knights didnt just walk into the club and take over all the power and influence that Sheedy had. There was a bunch of restructuring happening around that time that took recruiting decisions out of the coach’s hands and gave more decision-making power to the recruitment team, and more oversight to the board. This was way overdue, of course. Others on here have claimed that it was a board member who persistently blocked the recruitment of indigenous players post Sheedy. I don’t know about that one way or the other, but I’ve never understood how it was meant to work, one bad apple board member can’t block anything unless he assembles a board majority. Others have claimed it was a funding matter and that the board didn’t pony up the cash to send scouts to the top end or outback any more, and that a drop in indigenous representation was a side-effect of that.
Bring back Walla in the Eddie Betts role.
Bring back Walla in the Walla role
Che Cookatoo Collins would be a great inclusion on the board or as a liaison officer
The importance is when we bring in Dean Rioli or someone else, that we don’t pat ourselves on the back for ‘job done’.
There needs to be a systemic change, which must be driven by many people internally. Otherwise it falls down when the key person inevitably leaves the club.
Just like it did when Sheedy & Nat Rat left.
Reconciliation is about us white fellas reconciling with Aboriginal people…. Not the other way around.
His a beautiful soul, think his taking some time for himself getting around WA and NT to find himself and do some soul searching.
He was with some friends of mine recently through the Kimberleys
ran into natrat at the juno one night recently, was still not super impressed with the club from what I gathered
And to be conscious that indigenous players don’t share the same background - including access to education, coming from an indigenous community and acceptance in wider society - in their lives before professional football.
This is where the indigenous affairs officer needs to be reaching out to elders and leaders from each of the areas we are recruiting young men from.
Just the same as we would be reaching out to headmasters and teachers from the private school boys.
Its important to gain an understanding of what they come from and what culture means to these boys. How else can you help your team assimilate these players?
Also in regard to AFLW and VFLW
The whole club needs to be aligned, all the way through to the JHA and grass roots programs.
Thats what we’ve seen in Geelong, Sydney and Richmond and they’ve managed to attract /retain good players, coaches and suppport staff as a result.
The last thing we want to do, is identify there is a problem at the club…… and then expect the Aboriginal people to fix it.
As I alluded to before, this is white fella’s problem. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of Aboriginal people to come in and fix the ingrained ignorant beliefs of an organisation which is run by white people.
We employ First Nations people for their expertise, knowledge and skills set…… and Not to fix problems at the club.