Wanganeen first Indigenous past player to join an AFL club’s board

Gavin Wanganeen will make AFL history this year. Photo provided by Port Adelaide Football Club.

Former Port Adelaide football star Gavin Wanganeen is hoping to make his most significant contribution to AFL in life outside the game, when he starts work on Power’s board of directors.

The 45-year-old Brownlow medallist has become the first Indigenous player to join an AFL club’s board.

“I thought it might be time to seriously look at nominating for the board and to go into an environment where you are able to make a significant contribution on decisions that are going to shape your club going forward, so that excited me,” Wanganeen said.

Wanganeen was Power’s inaugural captain when the club entered the competition in 1997.

“Being the first Indigenous past player board member of any of the teams in the AFL makes me feel really proud,” he said.

“Indigenous numbers in this game of ours have been pretty high, about 10 or 11 per cent.”

“To see those percentages go up and transfer to other areas of the AFL is really important.”

Port Adelaide chairman David Koch is supportive of Wanganeen’s appointment and is looking forward to the value the 2004 Premiership player can bring to the club.

“With his external networks and business acumen along with his passion for the club, we look forward to his contribution to the board table,” Koch said.

Power members vote for who fills the spots on the board and Wanganeen won a majority of the 4000 votes cast.

A vote was called when seven-time SANFL premiership player George Fiacchi announced his intention to leave the position after joining in 2012.

By Keiran Deck

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