This month, we’re looking at the numbers that make up the AFLPA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander player advocacy.
Since it’s inception in 1973, according to records, the Players’ Association has represented at least 386 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players.
Now a bi-annual event, the first camp was held in 2000 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players from across the league to come together on country to connect, learn and develop strategies to improve the football experience for all Indigenous players. Since 2000, the camp has been held across Australia, from Broome to Adelaide, and, for the first time in 2022, with AFLW and multicultural players in Geelong.
The Indigenous Advisory Board (IAB) was born out of the AFLPA/AFL Indigenous Camp. The IAB was the first of its kind in Australian sport and was chaired by Sydney champion Adam Goodes. The IAB signed off on the first edition of Many Stories, One Goal, Support Indigenous Footballers two years later.
Through discussions at the 2019 Indigenous All-Stars Summit, players and their Association unanimously decided to call out racial vilification on social media of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members as it occurs when previously the PA would contact individual players asking for their preferences when handling the incident. This resulted in a dramatic change in the way the industry supports players through incidents of racism online.