It is with the greatest of honour we welcome the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Gabrielle Williams MP to announce their approved grant to go to the Fitzroy Stars. The funding will go towards the construction of their change rooms. Fitzroy Stars sees this as an important step towards the first ever Women and Girls Sport & Wellness Centre located at the Aborigines Advancement League in Thornbury. This is a thrilling new chapter in the lives of the Aboriginal community.
Fitzroy Stars are much more than a sports club. Beyond the sports of football and netball, they are a community hub that provides the glue for community wellbeing. Their members feel a real sense of belonging which equals a strong, healthy, and prosperous Aboriginal community.
The announcement of the grant could not have come at a better time, especially after the past 12 incredibly challenging months. Sport plays a critical role in girls’ development and provides valuable skills to help them become successful in all facets of life. Through sports, females learn the value of teamwork, co-operation, and competition. They also learn to take healthy risks that often lead to new opportunities. In an era when social isolation and mental health issues including social media–fuelled comparison anxiety are at an all-time high among young people, the peer bonding and sense of community provided by team sports are needed more than ever.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Women, Gabrielle Williams, said “the Fitzroy Stars have a proud history and a bright future. It’s wonderful to see work underway on this vital upgrade, which will give women and girls the facilities they need as the club grows. You have to see it to be it, and I can’t wait to see more female athletes hit the park in Stars colours.”
Former professional AFL footballer Simon Minton–Connell and CEO of Fitzroy Stars says “this is the first step towards the realisation of the construction of the Aboriginal Women and Girls Sport & Wellbeing Centre. This grant will enable us to commence Phase 1 of the construction of the changing rooms for our footballers and netballers – a vision that we have had for a long time. We thank the Minister and the Victorian Government for their support.” Added to this, the Women’s Football Team will play for the first time in the NFL on Saturday 10th April at 10,00am on their home ground, the Sir Douglas Nicholls Oval.
The Sport & Wellness Centre will provide a sense of belonging, community and family. It will be a meeting place that will bring inspiration, connection and solidarity through its unique sports and wellness complex.
The official Turning of the Sod Ceremony was be performed by Minister Williams Tuesday 30 March at the grounds of Fitzroy Stars Football & Netball Club. This will mark the commencement of the construction of the Aboriginal Women and Girls Sports & Wellness Centre.
From L to R –
Cr Emily Dimitriades and Cr Messina, Mayor of the City of Darebin, Robert Masters, Chair, HoHAm Dr Esme Bamblett, President Fitzroy Stars, Cr Julie Williams, The Hon. Fiona Patten and the Hon. Kat Theophanous, Simon Minton-Connell , The Hon. Sheena Watt, MLC, Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Aborignal Affairs and Minister for Women, Phil Cooper, President, Aborigines Advancement League and Franca Smarrelli, CEO Hands on Health Australia.