The Korin Gamadji Institute welcomes former Richmond player, Phil Egan, to its staff as NAIDOC Coordinator, supporting the new partnership between the KGI, VicHealth and the Victorian NAIDOC Football and Netball Committee.

The partnership involves delivering this year’s Victorian Senior Aboriginal Football and Netball Carnival in Bendigo next month.

Egan played 125 games for the Tigers from 1982-1989, and now manages Binmada, a consultancy for Education, Organisation and Community Development.

He will work with the KGI and VicHealth in a contract role until December.

The carnival aims to showcase the vibrant culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to the people of Bendigo and Victoria, attracting over 5,000 people to the weekend’s activities, as well as developing it to become a premier Koori event in Victoria annually.

“Using sport as a powerful vehicle, we want to connect and strengthen the relationships of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from across Victoria,” Egan said.

“Throughout the carnival, we also get the opportunity to promote issues such as active lifestyles through participation in sport, local artists, sexual health, healthy eating and leadership development.”

Following the carnival, Egan will also work with the KGI and VicHealth to facilitate a recommendation for a governing model for sport and recreation for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

“It’s really important that we find a funding model that is representative of the State, and is both inclusive of the community and sustainable for the future,” Egan said.

“I’m looking forward to working with a number of established organisations and community members to help determine the best way forward for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sport and recreation in Victoria.

“We’re so lucky to have both incredible talent and keen participation for sport and recreation by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, it’s important that we find the best way to foster and develop that even further.”

KGI Director, Aaron Clark, said Egan’s experience and standing in the community would be invaluable for supporting both the carnival and governing model project.

“Phil has been a pioneer in helping the Australian community to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s contribution to sport, he was instrumental in starting Dreamtime at the ‘G over a decade ago, and integrating the AFL’s Respect and Responsibility at community level football,” Clark said.

“We’re really excited to partner with VicHealth for this project, and have Phil guiding us and the other key stakeholders through this process.”