Council of powerful Australians named by Indigenous Football Australia

A new Council of eminent Australians has been launched to give the football community an opportunity to fully embrace young Indigenous players, their families and communities within the sport.

Indigenous Football Australia (IFA), which oversees the strategy and expansion of Australia’s most successful and longest-running Indigenous football initiative, John Moriarty Football (JMF), has announced the strongest Council in the history of Indigenous football.

The role of the IFA Council will be to strategically guide IFA to maximise the national and international benefits of JMF.

IFA Council Member, JMF Co-Founder/Co-Chair, and the first Indigenous footballer to be selected for Australia, Yanyuwa man John Moriarty AM, said, “The diversity and strengths of this Indigenous-led Council are unparalleled.”

“Each member is more than a symbolic appointment. They all bring unique, lived experience and skills and aligned values and goals for Indigenous football in Australia. Each member is committed to creating tangible, equitable and lasting change.”

“After a decade of successful delivery, we’ve shown the transformational impacts JMF has on the skills, health, wellbeing, education and community engagement of our coaches and the many thousand young players in our program.”

“With the guidance of the IFA Council we can create exponential social change through football, expand JMF and ensure more equitable access to the great game of football for grassroots and elite Indigenous players,” said Mr Moriarty.

The IFA Council has majority Indigenous membership, and is gender equal. Members in alphabetical order are:

  • Beau Busch, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Co-CEO, former Australian professional footballer
  • Warumungu man Patrick Coleman, JMF Tennant Creek Community Coach, member of NT Youth Round Table
  • Ngarrindjeri/Narrrunga/Kaurna man Travis Dodd, Australia’s first Indigenous Socceroo goal scorer and former Captain of Adelaide United
  • Craig Foster AM, former Socceroo, football analyst, JMF Board Member and human rights activist
  • Goori woman Professor Gail Garvey, National Health and Medical Research Council Research Leadership Fellow and Professor of Indigenous Health Research, School of Public Health, University of Queensland
  • Kathryn Gill, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Co-CEO, Former Matildas Captain
  • Adam Goodes, author, former AFL player, Australian of the Year 2014, Founder of GO Foundation
  • Wiradjuri man Professor Stan Grant, journalist, author, Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor’s Chair of Australian/Indigenous Belonging
  • Tracey Holmes, award-winning ABC News Sports Journalist, Australia’s first female host of a national sports program, presenter of The Ticket podcast
  • Yanyuwa man John Moriarty AM, the first Indigenous footballer to be selected for Australia, Co-Founder/Co-Chair of John Moriarty Football
  • Ros Moriarty, Co-Founder and Honorary Managing Director of Moriarty Foundation, Inaugural Chair of Football Australia Women’s Football Council (2019-21)
  • Gumbaynggirr woman Gema Simon, former Matilda and Newcastle Jets A-League Women player
  • Wiradjuri woman Tiffany Stanley, JMF Dubbo Community Coach
  • Kanulu/Gangulu woman Allira Toby, Canberra United A-League Women striker
  • Danny Townsend, leading sports executive, A-Leagues CEO, former Australian professional footballer
  • Wiradjuri/Yorta Yorta woman Jada Whyman, Matilda, Sydney FC A-League Women goalkeeper and JMF Scholarship Mentor 

See all IFA Council Members.

Each week JMF reaches more than 2,000 Indigenous children in 19 remote and regional communities and 20 public schools in the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales at a cost of just $1,300 per child per year. JMF is achieving proven progress in 13 of the 17 Closing the Gap targets.

JMF succeeds because it is Indigenous-founded, Indigenous-delivered, embedded, holistic and authentic.

IFA will drive strategy and expansion at JMF to create more equitable access to football for young grassroots and elite players, together with improved physical and mental health, wellbeing, education and community engagement for Indigenous girls, boys, their families and communities.

IFA’s expansion strategy will:

  • Extend participation by Indigenous school-aged children each week in a transformational football and wellbeing program.
  • Increase JMF’s footprint in remote and regional Indigenous communities.
  • Increase JMF’s partnerships with public schools through in-curriculum football sessions.
  • Create new jobs for Indigenous coaches and administrators in remote and regional communities.
  • Increase JMF’s capacity to impact Closing the Gap targets.
  • Promote and raise the profile of JMF.
  • Facilitate corporate and philanthropic partnerships in Indigenous football.
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