Hawthorn Indigenous Program
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Epic Good’s support has assisted development of the Hawthorn Indigenous Program with the aim of further supporting Australia’s Indigenous communities through mentorship, lifestyle and participation programs, while also providing financial support and employment opportunities through the vehicle of Australian Rules Football.
Cathie visited Lockhart River for the first time in 2014, where she was confronted by the disparities in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. At the same time Cathie witnessed how sport engaged young people regardless of cultural heritage – the kids in the remote community in QLD loved AFL as much as her own son back in Brisbane.
Cathie and Stuart had previous involvement with the Hawks Foundation, but it was Cathie’s experience at Lockhart River that was the springboard to personally do more to connect sport with health outcomes.
The extensive program includes a raft of support and development mechanisms, and aims to build leadership while promoting cultural awareness, school attendance and healthy lifestyle choices to all who are involved.
In 2016, Epic Good along with the Hawthorn Football Club formed a new partnership with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. The partnership has evolved in many ways and includes a joint publishing project working with Indigenous students in Katherine and Healesville. In 2016, young players with the Big River Hawks published the anthology Shock ‘Em: stories of the Big River Hawks and in 2018, the students from Worawa Aboriginal College, launched The Deadly Sisters of Worawa. Profits from the sales of the books go back onto developing more literacy resources.
The partnership between the EGF, HFC and the ILF also includes an annual fundraising event called Kick on for Literacy,
celebrated each year in National Reconciliation Week to acknowledge Sir Doug Nicholls Round of the AFL, while bringing together football and book lovers alike to raise awareness of, and funds for, the ILF.