The Fitzroy Stars Football Club

In the field article written on the 19 Oct 2009

The Fitzroy Stars are an Aboriginal football club based in Melbourne. The club promotes health and fitness, and also helps build self esteem among the players. It offers pathways to employment and education as well as serving as a meeting place for the wider Aboriginal community.

Oxfam has been a proud supporter of the Fitzroy Stars since 2008, when the club reformed in Melbourne’s Northern Football League. In addition to getting the word out about this grassroots football club, we support the Stars in their work to improve men’s health, increase positive parenting and strengthen Koori community in Melbourne.

More than just footy

“I think joining the Fitzroy Stars actually gave me something to look forward to in changing my life, in changing my habits; particularly my cultural, emotional and social wellbeing,” says former player Kelvin Onus-King. “The Fitzroy Stars had that social, cultural and emotional connection with me and it had that connection with many other players and supporters throughout its history. And it is that connection that makes it so unbelievably different to every other football club in the whole country.”

“It’s more than just the footy for the Stars,” says player Wade Hobba. “It’s always for the community.”

The Fitzroy Stars use their games to provide access to the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, where supporters can get regular health checkups. The club also provides professional speakers and other skill-building workshops.

“Whilst we’re not a job network provider we see those things as being important,” says former club president Troy Austin. “We figure if the guys are fit and healthy, if they’re working, if they’re housed, then they’re going to be better community members off the field and better football players on the field.”

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