Aug 13, 2009

Shepparton pulls together to face up to indigenous disadvantage

The statistics paint a damning picture of indigenous disadvantage in this major regional city, writes Essendon Football Club CEO Peter Jackson.

Indigenous disadvantage exists in all indigenous communities, including urban and regional communities, not only in the remote communities of far north Australia.

I was introduced to the indigenous community of Shepparton, a regional city 175km north of Melbourne, about three years ago by the late Ron Evans, former Essendon player and AFL chairman. This is Victoria’s second largest indigenous community after Melbourne, making up about 5% of the city’s population.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

8 thoughts on “Shepparton pulls together to face up to indigenous disadvantage

  1. Heathdon McGregor

    thank you Mr Jackson for a report on the actions your organisations have been involved in and I look forward to future updates. Hopefully by discussing actions that have/have not worked people who are trying to aid other people can discuss and work on ways forward, rather than self congratulation and attacks on people who dont share their passion or power.

    Thank you and looking forward to future updates

    ps I thought not another sports person telling us how we are racists who don care about anybody else. A pleasant and proactive surprise

    Best of luck for the future endeavours in Shepparton

  2. Tom McLoughlin

    Reads as very constructive and if you get some talented players too then good luck.

    I stopped wearing my Essendon jumper as a kid about the time bruiser Billy Duckworth was (in)famous. This was 25 years back. Takes alot for a kid to reject their own team. I started barracking for the Roy Boys who at least became successful later on as the Brisbane Lions. At least the RoyBoys nurtured the current Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos.

    Reading this makes me want to get another red striped black Essendon jumper.

  3. Victor Hart

    “If it was easy, it would have been done a long time ago”.

    So true. Thanks for making this final point. Many like to believe that “simple solutions exist” – and can be applied and will magically ” -fix-“‘ what are essentially symptoms of Aboriginal disadvantage that are intergenerational.

    Thanks for the leadership Mr Jackson. A pity our elected leaders(politicians) are not able to see it as clearly.

    And yes, we need more Deborah Cheethams – but then again, she is herself, pretty unique.

  4. Gary Stowe

    You are spot on Peter – it was refreshing to read, especially by comparison to the incessant cries of ‘racism’ and ‘blame the white guys’ from other Crikey contributors.

    In NSW, we have a program where 300 teaching scholarships are currently on offer with 80 reserved exclusively for indigenous candidates. I don’t know if Vic has anything similar but its an idea worth promoting if you have the contacts.

    I found your comparison of statisitics from remote communities interesting, ie. that they are essentially the same in urban situations. I’m happy to bet that in 10 – 12 your sort of program will be showing that urban inclusion is the healthier and more successful alternative.

    Gary Stowe

  5. Jon Hunt

    I suppose if you want to improve social exclusion, one must first determine why it exists in the first place. And yes, doesn’t matter where you are the outcomes are similarly grim!

  6. Terri Cowley

    this is actually quite a positive story about a community trying to address it problems. but as a resident of the city in question i was pretty perturbed by Crikey’s sensationalist headline.
    the fact that there’s a problem isn’t news, surely. the fact that positive steps are being taken is.
    give us a break guys. is shepparton so different?

  7. Sophie Black

    Thanks for your feedback Terri, the original headline was not Peter Jackson’s, it was made in house.

    We have now amended it to read: “Shepparton pulls together to face up to indigenous advantage” which we think more accurately reflects the opinion of the writer.

  8. Terri Cowley

    wow. a media organisation that actually listens to feedback and then acts upon it. i’ll put my Crikey socks back on now. i’m still sorry that such an influential readership as yours probably thinks Shepparton is the pits because of what they read in the daily email that goes out to subscribers. problems, yes. silent shame, no.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details