Indigenous Excellence

Adam Goodes and Michael O Loughlin August 2000
Adam Goodes and Michael O'Loughlin.

The Sydney Swans have been blessed by the influence of incredible Indigenous players; including three of the all-time greats; Adam Goodes, Michael O’Loughlin and Lance Franklin. In total, 19 indigenous players have represented the club, dating as far back as Elkin Reilly in 1962.

Peter Blucher revisits the players enormous contribution to the game, here.

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Elkin Reilly

First Nations people have had immense influence on our great game, celebrated annually with Marn Grook at the SCG. Sydney’s first Marn Grook match was played three years before the first Dreamtime game and five years before the AFL’s first full Indigenous Round on May 25, 2002.

The match, in which teams compete for the Marn Grook trophy, was initiated by former Sydney Swans CEO and Brownlow Medallist, Kelvin Templeton, to celebrate the shared history of Indigenous culture and AFL football.

Such was the significance of the event in the eyes of the club that in 2017 the match was added to the Heritage List in the Swans Hall of Fame.

The Swans have maintained the annual celebration of the rich and proud history of First Nations people, and the joy and excitement Indigenous players have provided.

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Marn Grook at the SCG, 2023.

Alisha Newman and Jaide Anthony hold the honour of being the first Indigenous women to represent the club after joining in our inaugural AFLW season in 2022. Newman was the talented artist behind the 2023 AFLW guernsey, worn in Round 7 and Round 8 of last season.

AFLW Swans Indigenous Round guernsey Phil Hillyard pics069
Cynthia Hamilton, Alisha Newman, Jaide Anthony and Brenna Tarrant wear the 2023 AFLW Marn Grook guernsey, designed by Newman. Photo: Phil Hillyard

In 2022 the Swans launched the ARA First Nation's Foundations program which aims to increase participation and involvement for First Nations People right across our game.

In its inaugural year, 21 First Nation’s athletes were selected to advance to the QBE Sydney Swans Academy.

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A member of our ARA First Nation's Foundations program.

The program incorporates mental health and cultural education sessions with strategically planned technical and tactical training led by experienced staff.

It’s delivered in a culturally safe and inclusive environment, fostering a greater sense of belonging and connection to AFL and the broader Sydney Swans family.

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