Fremantle’s Roger Hayden has joined some of the AFL’s best-known Indigenous players on a new advisory body that will give players with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait background a real say in how their colleagues are supported on their football journey.

Swans great Adam Goodes will be the inaugural Chair of the Indigenous Players Advisory Board.

Other members are Xavier Clarke, Graham Johncock, Aaron Davey, Chance Bateman, Nathan Lovett-Murray and Shaun Burgoyne.

The idea for an Indigenous Players Advisory Board was generated by players at this years’ Indigenous Camp in Sydney.

The Board will provide guidance to the Players’ Association on the development and implementation of programs and support services available to Indigenous Players throughout their AFL career.

The AFL Players’ Association’s Indigenous and Multicultural Manager, Nadia Taib, said players were enthusiastic about the opportunities this Board will present for the 11 per cent of elite footballers who are Indigenous.

“Members of the Advisory Board will use their wealth of experience and knowledge to seek feedback from their peers and to influence change for all Indigenous Players,” said Taib.

“Significantly, they have been elected by their peers.”

With 14 nominations lodged, a national election took place to select the 8 members. Four of those players represent the Victorian clubs, plus one each from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

Hawthorn’s Shaun Burgoyne said the members were keen to meet regularly with to discuss issues unique to players of Indigenous backgrounds.

“The number of Indigenous Players on club lists is continuing to grow, and it’s important that each player has an avenue to put their views forward,” said Burgoyne.

“As a group we’re really looking forward to providing recommendations to the AFL Players’ Association, as well as discussing any issues that affect Indigenous Players and working towards resolutions.”

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