Hawthorn veteran Shaun Burgoyne was last night announced as the new Chair of the AFL Players’ Association’s Indigenous Advisory Board, taking over from founding Chair and retired Sydney Swans player, Adam Goodes.
The player Board, which was formed as a result of discussions at the 2011 biennial AFLPA Indigenous Camp, provides a player voice to help make the AFL a supportive workplace for Indigenous players now and into the future.
A founding member of the Indigenous Advisory Board, and entering his 16th season in the AFL system, Burgoyne will continue to provide the strong leadership and direction that Goodes brought to the group.
“With more Indigenous footballers playing football at the highest level than ever before, it’s really important that we always look to improve programs and services within clubs to make the transition for Indigenous players in and out of the AFL system as seamless as possible,” he said.
Burgoyne understands the importance of Indigenous players having the support of their clubs and the leadership and guidance of developing the next generation of Indigenous leaders within the AFL industry.
“We’ll continue to chat with all 74 Indigenous players in the system about the issues affecting them and provide advice and guidance to the AFLPA about implementing and promoting cultural connections and awareness within clubs and the broader AFL industry.”
Burgoyne’s appointment comes as a recent changing of the Board, with Goodes and his brother Brett both leaving the Board due to retirement, and Patrick Ryder, Matthew Stokes and Lance Franklin also stepping down.
Replacing the departing members is Allen Christensen, Danyle Pearce, Shane Edwards, Neville Jetta and Jarrod Pickett – all joining existing members Burgoyne, Chad Wingard and Michael Johnson.
To support Burgoyne in his new role, Melbourne player Neville Jetta was also yesterday voted in by the Board as Deputy Chair.
AFL Players’ Association CEO, Paul Marsh, is thrilled to have Burgoyne named as Chair and such passionate advocates for Indigenous players supporting him on the Board.
“First of all, congratulations to Shaun on the appointment to Chair, we couldn’t ask for a stronger leader to represent Indigenous players within the AFL industry and he will do a fantastic job building on Adam’s fantastic advocacy,” he said.
“It’s also great to see the younger players joining the Board keen to develop and influence the direction the AFL Players’ Association takes in creating a better and more supportive workplace for all Indigenous players.”