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Syd Jackson Program

Inspiring holistic health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Syd Jackson is a dual-premiership player after playing 136 games for the Carlton Football Club from 1969-1976. Since retiring Syd has worked tirelessly to create more opportunities for diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Due to the hard work Syd has undertaken throughout the community, the Carlton Football Club with the support of the Blues Foundation have named the multi-faceted program in his honour. The program will aim to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diverse communities.

What Does the Syd Jackson Program Support?

The Syd Jackson Program supports and is involved in the following:

#HisTribe A 12-week holistic health and wellbeing program delivered by the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service.

Carlton’s AFLW, AFL Players and Community Education Programs Team will be actively involved in the #HisTribe program.  Carlton’s contribution for example, will be in different themes, such as healthy eating, exercise and social wellbeing.

Awareness Raising Campaigns

Sir Doug Nicholls Round/Reconciliation Week (Round 11)

Sir Doug Nicholls is an Australian football icon. His contribution to Australian football, community and culture is the great untold story of our game. Sir Doug Nicholls was also an exceptional leader. He was inspired by the power of football to progress reconciliation and, after he retired from football he was the driving force behind the organisation of the first Aboriginal All Stars games during World War 2 when the VFL and VFA suspended all competition matches.

Sir Doug Nicholls saw the value of putting the best Aboriginal footballers together for All Star games against VFA and local clubs from 1942-1948 and also coached the All Stars. The Sir Doug Nicholls Round is a mark of respect to his enduring legacy.

NAIDOC Week (8-15 July 2018)

Carlton Football Club acknowledges the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and participates in NAIDOC Week celebrations.

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Launch

Carlton Football Club supports the national reconciliation movement by promoting and contributing to building positive relationship, trust and respect across the Club and the broader communities of the northern corridor of Melbourne.

Next Generation Academy (NGA)

Carlton’s Next Generation Academy provides the opportunity for young indigenous people to have Uncle Syd Jackson and Aboriginal men and women Players as mentors.

Player Engagement

Carlton’s AFLW and AFL Players are actively engaging and participating with schools, students, services and organisation’s in the northern corridor. In addition, Players are taking part in Carlton’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) initiatives.


Evidence demonstrates that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples have a low rate of holistic health and wellbeing compared to non-Indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who were born between 2010 and 2012 have a life expectancy of 10.6 years less than non-indigenous males and 9.5 years less than non-Indigenous females.


In 2012-13, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, were 4 times more likely to be hospitalised for chronic conditions compared to non-Indigenous Australians.

As of 2017, only 61% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders between 20-24 years old have attained a year 12 or equivalent compared to 86-88% of non-indigenous Australians.

The Carlton Football Club’s 2017 Indigenous Guernsey, honouring Blues champion and dual premiership player, Syd Jackson. Artwork by Trevor Pickett.


The Syd Jackson program is a partnership between Carlton Football Club and Syd Jackson through the Outback Academy. Priority Care is a contributor to the Syd Jackson Program

The Blues Foundation acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.