Mob who attended one of our Community Forums in Warrnambool this week were able to be part of a conversation with Western Bulldog’s Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and former Collingwood Magpies’ Leon Davis and hear how staying connected to mob and culture helped both players in various aspects of their lives.
Leon reflected on some of the hardships he faced starting out in the AFL, but urged everyone to keep pushing the barriers.
“You will make it that little bit easier for the next lad or the next girl that comes along. Pave the way ahead. Look, we’re here to talk about Treaty! The generation before us laid the foundations, really did some incredible work, so here we are today able to be talking about it. I’m really pleased to be here learning more,” said Leon.
He talked about the need to stick together and help each other out, particularly for many people who have had their connections disrupted.
“We are the oldest culture in the world and our culture is powerful, that’s why they tried to strip it away from us. But we’re here next in line and we’ll continue to play our part. The efforts of past generations can’t be for nothing, we need to empower our young mob. We know what is best for us. This conversation is a good one, because we need the power to make our own decisions about ourselves,” said Leon.
Jamarra also talked about the importance of his family and community, and maintaining a schedule that allows him to spend time back on Country. He explained some of the strategies he used to stay focused during his final year at school and the advice he had received from older players.
“Nick Riewoldt just came up to me actually, and told me straight up, your first couple of years, no one will remember, it’s the last four that will be remembered — and it helped me realise ok I need to take time and be patient, it’s a marathon,” said Jamarra.
Two of the Assembly’s Members, Uncle Michael ‘Mookeye’ Bell and Jordan Edwards, gave a presentation about the Treaty Negotiation Framework that was recently agreed on with the Victorian Government and the Self-Determination Fund that is being set up to help Traditional Owners get ready for Treaty negotiations and will also help generate wealth and prosperity for First Peoples in Victoria.
“The framework is essentially the rule book. It’s how we can get Treaties negotiated in Victoria,” explained Jordan.
As well as the Q&A with the footy players and the presentation, guests also got a feed and enjoyed a performance from the young fellas in the ‘Koko Blokes’ dance group.
The Assembly holds many community events across the state for both mob and allies. Find our upcoming events near you and make sure you’re on our email list to stay in the loop with our latest news and ways to get involved.
Thanks to Alice Ugle in our Engagement team for organising this deadly event! If you’d like to arrange an event in your area or learn more about Treaty, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org