Hawthorn’s ‘commitment’ to Bunjil Bagora, training facility earns new name

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves stands proudly in front of the renamed Bunjil Bagora. (Photo: Hawthorn FC)

The Hawks are building something special – with a new coach, new assistant coaches and now a new name for their training base, fans of the brown and gold have a lot to get excited about.

The club that has arguably been the most successful in the last 50 years has renamed its Waverley Park training and administration facility ‘Bunjil Bagora’.

The name essentially means home or centre of the hawk in the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung language and was gifted to Hawthorn by Wurundjeri Woiwurrung Senior Elder Aunty Joy Murphy.

The training facility has been renamed to acknowledge and honour Indigenous history and reconciliation in Australia.

Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett emphasised the club’s pride in renaming the facility.       

“Hawthorn is honoured to have been gifted the name Bunjil Bagora,” Kennett said.

“As a club, we are committed to celebrating the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to drive positive social outcomes and change.

“By giving our facility an Indigenous name, we are making an overt statement about this commitment.”

The Hawthorn Football Club has a rich tradition of Indigenous football stars who have plied their trade in the brown and gold.

18 Indigenous players have represented the club at the highest level including superstar premiership players Lance Franklin, Chance Bateman, Cyril Rioli, Shaun Burgoyne and Brad Hill just to name a few.

From Cyril Collard, who was the first Indigenous player to play for the Hawks when he debuted in Round 1, 1957 and kicked a goal in his first game to the current crop of Indigenous stars including Chad Wingard, Jarman Impey and Tyler Brockman, the Hawks have shown their love and support for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contingent.

It has never been a club to shy away from being innovative and leading with new initiatives and Hawthorn has done it once again. It is the first AFL club to use Indigenous language to name its training facility. 

With Hawthorn firmly in rebuild mode, the second half of the year will be about improvement for the kids, and hopefully avoiding the wooden spoon
Photo: Hawthorn FC/Twitter

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Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves emphasised the renaming as a pivotal step in the club’s continued commitment to honouring and embracing Indigenous cultures.

“The club recognises its unique ability to use the power of football to provide opportunities for the broader community to engage with and further their understanding of the cultures of First Nations people,” he said. 

“The name of our home base is just one of the ways the club is actively sparking conversation and engagement with Indigenous culture.   

“Through the actions outlined in our Reconciliation Action Plan, we are weaving Indigenous culture throughout all aspects of our club, the renaming of our home base here at Waverley Park to Bunjil Bagora is a moment in Hawthorn’s history we are proud of and want to celebrate with the community.”  

The Hawks have partnered with cleaning service providers Sanifect as partners of the renaming. The partnership with Sanifect has provided the necessary funding to rebrand Bunjil Bagora.

The club have announced there will be a formal event in early 2022 to officially commemorate this momentous change in the club’s history. 

Just as they had been accustomed to Glenferrie and Waverley Park in the past, ‘Bunjil Bagora’ will be a name many Hawks fans will now become familiar with.

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