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Moyjil/Point Ritchie Project Committee members Keicha Day, Kristyn McCaskill, Tim Umney with Environment Minister Lisa Neville
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LG Pro award recipients Neil Ballard and Richard Stone.

Recognition for Footy4All and Moyjil projects

News Article Date: 
Friday, 16 October 2015

An inclusive football program developed by Warrnambool City Council (WCC) with a range of community organisations has been recognised with a Victorian LG Pro award.

The Footy4All program, initiated by the WCC Rural Access team, won the Outstanding Program/Project (non-grant based) category at the 2015 LG Pro Aged and Disability Services Awards.

WCC Manager Active Ageing and Inclusion Richard Stone said the program arose after it was identified there were people with a disability who wanted to play football but nowhere to play.

“While opportunities existed for club involvement as volunteers, there were limited opportunities for these people to participate in training and to play competitively,” Mr Stone said.

A committee was formed to work on creating training and playing opportunities for players with a disability. This was supported by South West Sport, the Hampden Football Netball League (HFNL), the Football Integration Development Association (FIDA), disability support agencies the South Warrnambool Football Club, Emmanuel College and several sponsors.

“We started with training sessions and modified games which included the involvement of local football identities,” Mr Stone said.

“In 2013 a team, the Hampden Hurricanes, was formed. Players travelled to Melbourne to take on metropolitan FIDA teams.

“The formation of the Hurricanes was the catalyst for the creation of the Hamilton Boomers along with inclusive footy teams in Ararat and Horsham.

“We effectively have a western Victoria inclusive footy league. Teams have played at half-time in Hampden League games and the response from players and spectators has been tremendous.”

The Rural Access team received the following feedback from a spectator at an inclusive footy game:

“I walked into the ground and saw Stewie wearing No. 74, his jumper tucked in neatly, socks pulled up and boots polished, assertive and attentive to every bit of the game.

“It was a beautiful moment because for Stewie it looked like he was on the MCG playing in a grand final.

“Stewie has done a lot for football over the years and with the initiative shown by Council football has done something for Stewie.”

 

This week WCC and the Point Ritchie Moyjil Project Committee received a special commendation at the Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence for the Sharing of Stories of Place – Point Ritchie Moyjil project.

The Sharing Stories of Place involved the development of a video and website – moyjil.com.au – which explain the stories of Point Richie (Moyjil) from indigenous and scientific perspectives.

The award was presented by the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville.

Moyjil/Point Ritchie, as it is now officially known, is a significant Aboriginal site.

For thousands of years Aboriginal people visited the area to gather food including eels from the river and shellfish from the ocean.

A record of this extended period of human occupation is preserved in the rocks and in the sand dunes of Point Ritchie. In recent years traditional owners and scientists have worked together to help tell the story of this site, which is recognised as having great heritage significance.

The site is listed on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register and in 2013 received an Ongoing Protection Declaration from the State Government.

WCC Acting Mayor Peter Hulin congratulated all those involved with the award-winning projects.

“These projects have had a positive impact on the community,” Cr Hulin said.

“And community involvement in these projects has been integral to their success.

“The community has embraced the inclusive footy and and the Moyjil project is driven by a committee that includes scientists and indigenous representatives along with Council officers.”   

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