The golden age of indigenous Australian footy in Victoria (Patrick Skene in the Guardian)




Patrick Skene has had a fantastic debut year as a feature writer both with us here at the Almanac and now he has been picke dup by the Guardian.

Here’s his latest:


About Patrick Skene

An Epicurean Celt interested in Sport, Culture & History.


  1. G’Day Patrick,

    It’s a great story to read and to knowledge of history of indigenous footballers. I hope the current Victorian indigenous AFL program is going well. I think they need confidence.


  2. Patrick Skene says

    Thanks Yoshi,

    Its a long and proud history and one we should treasure!


  3. Wonderful piece, Patrick. The footy history and match are neither here nor there for me. I know the history and a good footy game is always worthwhile.
    But your concluding message about strength through culture is the pivotal direction of any positive indigenous future. Its not something I claim to be an expert on, but it seems breathtakingly obvious to me.
    The Bindjareb Project at Fairbridge Village in Pinjarra WA is a mining industry investment in young male indigenous offenders. They are offered the promise of a well paid mining job, but first they have an extended period of what I think of as ‘rebirthing’ to their own culture, history and way of life.
    Most have grown up in families with few positive role models and considerable disfunction. They are taken bush over several months to learn about the history and traditions that they were never taught.
    It is only when a man is proud of himself and his own culture that he can become a success in another’s culture.
    The reduced recidivism rate and successful ongoing work career are extraordinary, and I cannot for the life of me understand why we don’t offer more cultural rebonding programs for indigenous kids (the catch is breaking some links to unhealthy immediate family – which is tough for anyone – but particularly indigenous). Loyalty to great grandfather ways where fathers cannot provide that strength.
    Thanks for sharing a similar Victorian initiative in sport.

  4. Patrick Skene says

    Thanks Peter,
    ‘It is only when a man is proud of himself and his own culture that he can become a success in another’s culture.’
    Great analysis!
    Awareness and pride in culture is the backbone for many successful sport engagement programs and other programs like the Bindjareb Project.
    These and other successes give me great hope for the future.

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