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Sport and Aboriginal men’s health: Symposium

How can young Aboriginal footballers reach their sporting peak while retaining a connection to Country? How do you balance the pressures of playing competitively while fulfilling family and community obligations? And what role is there for grassroots football in healthy community development?

AFL representatives, community leaders and academics will come together for a symposium at RMIT University on Tuesday, 2 October, to explore these issues and gain fresh insights into practical ways to better support Indigenous sportspeople.

Wellbeing not winning: Sport and men’s health in Aboriginal communities brings together speakers and researchers with first-hand experience of issues associated with men’s health in the context of sport.

Speakers include:

· Jason Mifsud (AFL Community Engagement Manager) on Social impact and the role of the AFL in community – the development of the AFL’s community engagement strategy and its roll out from elite to grassroots levels.

· Dr Bruce Hearn-Mackinnon (Deakin University, author of The Liam Jurrah Story) on Football the Warlpiri way: Lessons from Liam Jurrah – insights and reflections on the first fully initiated Indigenous man to play elite football.

· Sid Anderson (President of the MacDonnell Shire, Luritja Pintubi Ward, NT) on Wellbeing not Winning: the Wilurarra Tjutaku Football League – playing football On Country and the importance of sport to sustaining healthy communities.

· Dr Sean Gorman (Curtin University, author of Legends: The AFL Indigenous Team of the Century 1905-2005) on Expectations, Experiences and Reflections of Indigenous Footballers: Transitioning in and out of the AFL – the experiences of Aboriginal footballers, in their own words.

· Associate Professor Barry Judd (RMIT University, author of On the Boundary Line: Colonial Identity in Football) on Paris to Papunya – reflections on post-colonial theory and how it may (not) explain the lives of Indigenous Australians.

The symposium is convened by the Global Indigeneity and Reconciliation Program in RMIT’s Global Cities Research Institute.

What: Wellbeing not winning: Sport and men’s health in Aboriginal communities

When: 9am-5pm, Tuesday, 2 October

Where: RMIT Emily McPherson Building, corner Russell and Victoria streets, Melbourne

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