The Charles Perkins Soccer Academy is working hand in hand with the Macarthur Football Club to help Indigenous athletes pursue their goals and aspirations in the sporting industry.

Established earlier this year as a Macarthur FC initiative, the Academy is named in honour of one of Australia’s most talented Indigenous soccer players and civil rights activists, Charles Perkins (1936-2000).

The Academy’s Director will be none other than former Socceroos coach, Frank Farina OAM, the only Indigenous man to coach a national team.

“The Charles Perkins Academy project is one that can create real impact in people’s lives and for that reason I’m excited to be involved.”

“From a football perspective, we know there will be hidden gems out there and we can’t wait to find them,” Mr Farina said.

Many prominent Indigenous Australians will feature on the Academy’s board, including:

  • Roy Ah See – Director of Indigenous Business Australia and Member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council
  • Professor Michelle Trudgett – Pro Vice Chancellor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, Western Sydney University
  • Richard McGuinness – consultant
  • Danielle Mate Sullivan – artist
  • Bonita Mersiades – writer and publisher.

The Academy’s unique logo was designed by board member and Indigenous artist Danielle Mate Sullivan.

The Charles Perkins Soccer Academy logo. Photo via Charles Perkins Soccer Academy’s Facebook page.

The logo consists of a whale and a lyrebird to acknowledge the totems of the Dharawal people, the charcoal colour honours rock art drawings found in the region and the orange colour represents youth, energy and passion.

The dots encircling the totems represent community and the fine dots at the centre of the logo represent the texture of the Macarthur landscape.

“This Academy is not only about delivering great opportunities for young Indigenous players, but also about promoting understanding and celebrating the diversity that is so much a part of Australian life,” Mr Farina said.

“I’m looking forward to working with FFA, the state federations and all [of] football’s stakeholder groups to form meaningful partnerships that will make a difference.”

By Sharnae Watson