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SENATOR PATRICK DODSON
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BATMAN
Ged Kearney and Bill Shorten will deliver $250,000 to contribute to the first steps to building a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Sport, Culture and Wellbeing in Thornbury.
The Centre will be based at a sporting oval attached to the Aborigines Advancement League, which is heavily used by the community for sporting events including AFL matches.
The funding was announced by Senator Patrick Dodson and Ged Kearney at the Aborigines Advancement League headquarters with local Indigenous leaders, sports people and community representatives.
Ged Kearney’s investment build’s on the announcement by the Andrews Labor Government in November 2017 to provide $250,000 towards the business case into the establishment of the centre.
If constructed, the Centre will have a strong focus on addressing youth disengagement and fostering re-connection through the delivery of targeted educational, sporting, cultural, life skills, fitness and leadership programs.
“Sport is a great equaliser. I hope this centre will be a place where First Nations Australians can express sportsmanship and leadership in their community,” Senator Dodson said.
“The love for footy in the local Indigenous community runs deep - this facility is well-used and we have a great opportunity to expand it. I'm so glad federal Labor will add to state government funding to help get this project off the ground, which has been asked for by the community for so long”, Ged Kearney said.
“The Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Sport, Culture and Wellbeing is a wonderful opportunity for providing a supportive environment for all Aboriginal Victorians, with the delivery of educational, sporting, cultural, life skills, fitness and leadership programs, said Dr Esme Bamblett, President of the Fitzroy Stars Football & Netball Club & CEO of the Aborigines Advancement League.
“Located at the historic Aborigines Advancement League, the oldest Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation in Australia, the Centre will be a natural fit for enhancing community development”, said Dr Bamblett.