The AFL has announced the code will appoint an Indigenous Commissioner by 2018 just hours before the kick off in first game of this year’s Indigenous Round.
While the appointee hasn’t been selected yet, the Chairman of the AFL Commission Mr Mike Fitzpatrick said the news has been deemed a ‘game changer’.
“Currently our game enjoys strong Indigenous representation of approximately nine percent in the playing group but improvement is needed it when it comes to representation in other roles,” he said.
The appointment of a commissioner is part of the AFL’s enhanced Indigenous strategy by the league’s Indigenous Advisory Council.
Chairman of the Council, Mr Paul Briggs said this addition to the code was a significant step in increasing the opportunities for Indigenous men and women in the football industry.
“Indigenous people have a desire to be represented at all levels of the game they love, and the appointment of an Indigenous Commissioner will be an historic moment in Australian sport,” he said.
In 2015, an audit of the AFLs Indigenous Programs found one in three Indigenous young people are actively involved one of the AFL’s 80 Indigenous Programs and in some states; there is up to 43 per cent involvement in Indigenous communities.
The successful AFL Commissioner must be signed off by all AFL member clubs, who receive a recommendation from a nominations committee.