South Sydney Rabbitohs stars Dane Gagai, Greg Inglis and Alex Johnston met with the University of Canberra’s Chancellor, Tom Calma, and Club 22 Member, Reg Richardson, to collaborate on ways that they can help with Indigenous health campaigns.
Mr Calma, who is a proud Aboriginal elder of the Kungarakan people and member of the Iwaidja tribe in Darwin’s south west and on the Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory, was excited to meet the players and was even more motivated to and share his insights, stories and experiences with the group.
The players, who may be superstars in their own right, were in awe of a man who for over 40 years has been campaigning for the rights, responsibilities and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at a number of levels.
His tireless work within the community has resulted in a number of awards such as Officer of the Order of Australia, 2013’s ACT Australian of the Year and the Indigenous Allied Health Australia Lifetime Achievement Award.
The meeting itself was organised with the help of Mr Richardson, a lifelong supporter of the Rabbitohs who has put his life and soul into supporting a number of causes including Indigenous healthcare, melanoma research and visual arts.
Alongside Greg Poche, Mr Richardson is a founder of the Poche Indigenous Health Network, which has health units at the University of Sydney, as well as universities in Melbourne, Queensland and Western Australia. The network works closely with Souths Cares on its oral health programmes, which visits schools across New South Wales and Western Australia.
Mr Richardson was appointed the chairman of the Melanoma Institute Australia in 2007. He has also served on the boards of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of NSW Foundation, the Mercy Foundation, St Vincent’s Hospital and the Ted Noffs Foundation.
As a Club 22 Member, Mr Richardson aims to collaborate with individuals and businesses working in similar fields towards positive change.
That change being an improvement in the ways that the Club, the players and Mr Calma can collaborate with one another in enhancing the health of Indigenous Australians.