MORE than 100 elite AFL and AFLW players from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island and Multicultural backgrounds have gathered in Geelong for the first full day of the 2022 AFL/AFLPA Indigenous and Multicultural Player Summit.

AFL Executive General Manager Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch, AFL Players Association General Manager of Player & Stakeholder Relations Brett Murphy, AFL players Michael Walters (Fremantle) and Aliir Aliir (Port Adelaide) and AFLW players Gemma Houghton (Port Adelaide) and Darcy Vescio (Carlton) were in attendance to celebrate the return of the Summit since 2019.
Players took part in a number of activities including:

  • On-field training session at North Shore Football Club
  • Player development workshops
  • Cultural activities including a Welcome to Country by traditional owners

The 2022 Player Summit marks the first time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural players from both AFL and AFLW have been invited to participate in the four-day program that focuses on celebrating and strengthening cultural identity.

In addition, the Summit offers a platform for players to discuss matters of importance to them and how the AFL and the AFLPA can work collaboratively to best support change across the industry that will impact positively on their experiences in the game, on and off the field.

"It’s been an amazing experience so far, being able to connect with everyone across the league," Vescio said.

"I feel like the first season is almost unrecognisable to what it is now and especially having all 18 teams in this year has been unbelievable.

"We're getting closer and closer between leagues and being able to share our experiences and understanding that we can learn from each other. I really hope that doing these sorts of things where we're able to bounce off each other and I guess be able to understand some of the issues the guys face ... it's a better AFL when everyone's feeling good."