1300 661 904
Added to Enquiry List
Gavin Wanganeen - Sports Heroes - Inspiring Australians as an AFL legend and visual  ...

Travels From South Australia

Gavin Wanganeen

Inspiring Australians as an AFL legend and visual artist

Gavin Wanganeen is an Australian Football League (AFL) legend, acclaimed contemporary Aboriginal artist, a businessman and an advocate for First Nations Peoples. 

Two-time Premiership winner, member of the AFL Hall of Fame and Brownlow medalist, Gavin Wanganeen is respected for his significant contribution to the game.

Gavin’s AFL career spanned 300 senior games at the Essendon and Port Adelaide Football Clubs, earning him countless accolades, including the dedication of a grandstand at Adelaide Oval in 2015, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the game.

Gavin blazed a trail as the first Indigenous player to receive a Brownlow medal and reach 300 games. In February 2019 he again broke new ground with his appointment to the board of the Port Adelaide Football Club. This achievement makes him the first Aboriginal ex-AFL player ever to be elected to an AFL club board and the first Indigenous member of the Port Adelaide Football Club board in its 150 year history.

Having retired from the AFL over a decade ago, Gavin continues to inspire and innovate through his work as a contemporary Aboriginal artist. 

Born in Mount Gambier, South Australia, Gavin is a proud descendent of the Kokatha Mula people of the Western Desert in South Australia. The Kokatha people hold the Tjukupa (lore) and have a strong connection to country, the night sky and stories in the stars – a deep source of inspiration for Gavin’s paintings.

Today Gavin’s astonishing natural talent continues to blossom, attracting national attention and acclaim and firmly establishing him as a contemporary Aboriginal artist to watch.

As well as sitting on the board of the State Theatre Company South Australia, Gavin recently stepped down from the CALHN board and the Port Adelaide Football Club, to focus on business interests.

Gavin is the owner and Director of MURRA Partners, an Aboriginal owned executive search and recruitment firm based in South Australia.

Gavin founded JOOJU Coffee, sustainably and ethically sourced from the best coffee producers globally and roasted here in Australia. JooJu has a mission to create great-tasting coffee while giving back to the community. Gavin’s artwork features on the packaging.

He is an ambassador for the Jodi Lee Foundation which campaigns for Bowel Cancer awareness, and was a Statewide Wellbeing Strategy Ambassador for the State Government and Well-being SA’s Open Your World initiative created in 2020. In the past, Gavin has also been ambassador for Power Community Programs, and Power to End Violence Against Women with the Port Adelaide Football Club, Deadly Choices, an initiative run by Aboriginal Health, the AFL’s Aboriginal youth football team, the Boomerangs, and The White Ribbon Foundation, and is currently an advisor to the United Nations Association of Australia  SA, and sits on the RAP committee for UNAASA and The Adelaide Fringe Festival. 

Gavin is well known and respected for his Indigenous Advocacy, and has formed relationships across the Country with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders. He has spent considerable time on Country, working with youth and mentors in Aboriginal communities predominantly in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjattjara (APY) Lands in north-west South Australia, encouraging positive life choices through sport, education, culture and community. 

The Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarship at the University of South Australia was established in 2005 to provide support for disadvantaged Indigenous students with a strong desire to succeed and contribute to their community, by enabling them to complete a university degree. Through the power of education, the Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarships have changed the lives of its 45 recipients to date who, in turn, are inspiring others to change their lives. Many scholarship graduates now work in the fields of Indigenous health, education and social work, while others are making their mark in the arts and media.

Enquire about Gavin Wanganeen to speak at your next event