The Syd Jackson Program

Priority Care Health Solutions have recently joined the Carlton Football Club and Blues Foundation to help deliver positive holistic health and wellbeing outcomes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diverse communities.

The commitment will support the Blues Foundation in implementing the Syd Jackson program, which is the overarching brand for the programs Carlton is involved in throughout the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diverse communities.

The program is named in honour of Carlton’s dual premiership player Syd Jackson. Syd played for the Blues from 1969-1976 after growing up in Roelands Native Mission near Bunbury, Western Australia. Since completing his career as a football player, Syd has been active in the community inspiring positive change by accelerating the economic freedom, employment and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diverse communities.

The Syd Jackson Program (SJP) began in 2017 where it gave a young man from an Aboriginal community, who had recently completed year 12, a scholarship to work within the Carlton Football Club’s Community, Diversity and Inclusion department on a full-time basis. The scholarship holder was also supported with mentoring sessions, networking with local traditional land owners and formal education.

The SJP has now developed to support the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service in their holistic health and wellbeing program for men and children, called #HisTribe. This will include AFL and AFLW player attendance as positive role models and key unique experiences for participants at Ikon Park and game day to continue their motivation through the extensive 12-week program. This will also be extended upon through the Next Generation program which is focused on engaging young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged from 11-14 in after-school activity as one of the two key audiences for the program. Similarly, the program will also support the young children who are accepted in the Next Generation Academy with mentoring, cultural awareness and knowledge sessions.

The Carlton Football Club will also undertake key awareness raising campaigns throughout major weeks such as: Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June) and NAIDOC Week (8-15 July).

Positive role modelling is key throughout the entirety of the Syd Jackson Program, with one female and five male players with an Aboriginal background, all involved in the Syd Jackson Program.

Further details and latest news about the Syd Jackson Program and the Blues Foundation can be found at www.bluesfoundation.org.au.