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It is extremely important to the club that our community programs are woven into all aspects of the organisation. This assists in creating an environment at Hawthorn where people from all communities feel welcome and heard. We understand the influence that the club can have through its platform in the community; therefore, having staff who have a deeper understanding of how to create inclusive and safe environments through their roles, will continue to assist us to create positive social and cultural change. This year staff took part in five trainings sessions, facilitated by our partners.

Thank you to the Koori Heritage Trust for delivering several Indigenous cultural awareness training sessions

Thank you to Wolithiga Wares for delivering a Bush Tucker Workshop


Hawthorn is committed to overcoming barriers of the past by using its unique position to become leaders in community connection to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. We always value the opportunity to come together as an organisation to celebrate and educate our staff and players on Indigenous culture.
In NAIDOC Week, Hawthorn’s AFL Blind and Wheelchair teams took part in a cultural awareness session with Bernadette and Bella Atkinson from the Koori Heritage Trust. The focus of this session was understanding more about the traditional football known as the Marngrook. Bernadette explained how the ball was traditionally made, the importance that the sport played in Indigenous communities and how they use  the Marngrook to connect with culture.
Following on from this session the Hawks AFL Wheelchair and Blind teams were presented with Indigenous guernseys by AFL player James Sicily and AFL Blind player Cebby Johnson to proudly wear at their games in NAIDOC Week. As our youngest Indigenous player, Cebby commented ‘I can’t wait to play in it, I feel a lot of power and support.’ The guernsey design has a meaningful cultural connection to the brotherhood, bravery and family. This design was transferred onto a bright orange guernsey for the AFL Blind team while the Wheelchair team wore the traditional brown Indigenous guernsey.

Lastly, three of our female athletes across our inclusion teams participated in the Winyarr Ganbina National Yarning Circle through our partnership with the Red Dust Heelers and Outback Academy. The aim of the session is to further improve culturally safe engagement opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females who live with a disability to participate in sport

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Sir Doug Nicholls Round is always such an important fixture on the Hawks calendar as it allows the Club to use its platform, with the rest of the AFL, to highlight the contribution Indigenous men and women have made within the AFL both on and off the field.

Hawthorn’s goal has always been to both celebrate and educate. The vision is that when patrons arrive at the match, from the second they approach the gates their experience is authentic, memorable, and an affirmation of our collective commitment to support and give voice to our first nation peoples.


Held annually, NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The 2021 NAIDOC Week theme was ‘Heal Country!’ which recognised the significance of the land and called for stronger measures to recognise , protect and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.

Country is personified in the language and song of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is inherent to a culture’s identity spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially.
This year Hawthorn staff, players and inclusion teams took part in educational workshops to learn more about native wildlife and its connection to Indigenous people through cooking and medicine.

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Our Vision
Hawthorn Football Club recognises its unique ability to educate people on the power of reconciliation.
We are more than just a football club, we are a vehicle for driving change, opportunity and respect for all people.
As a club we are committed to celebrating the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to drive positive social outcomes and change.
Our vision for reconciliation is that all Australians have a deep respect and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
Empowered with knowledge and respect, we will overcome the barriers pf the past and celebrate Australia’s unique and rich history as one, united nation.