Fremantle president Dale Alcock has welcomed and congratulated Professor Helen Milroy on her appointment to the AFL Commission, making her the League's first indigenous commissioner.
"It is significant and pleasing to have another West Australian commissioner, another woman commissioner and most importantly a proud and well respected Aboriginal elder joining the Commission," Alcock said.
Professor Milroy, as a former GP and current child and adolescent Psychiatrist, has had over 30 years clinical experience in the health and mental health system, with a strong focus on Aboriginal and child health. She is currently a Professor at the University of Western Australia and a Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission.
Professor Milroy also served as a Commissioner with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
"Professor Milroy's health background and engagement in strategy, leadership and decision making at the highest levels will provide the AFL the depth and resource to make a significant difference," Alcock said.
Fremantle has a long and proud Aboriginal history and today provides the opportunity for many young men and women to make their mark in the AFL.
"We are also proud to be in the fortunate position with Freo's number one ticket holder Dr Richard Walley OAM and board director Professor Colleen Hayward, who are both respected Aboriginal elders, undertaking leadership roles within the club.
"We look forward to working with the AFL and Professor Helen Milroy to further develop our Next Generation Academies in the Kimberley Region and to improve the health and education and provide opportunities for young Aboriginal boys and girls through AFL participation."
Professor Milroy has served on numerous local, state, national and international committees, advisory groups, policy groups and boards. She has been involved in the Wharerata group as part of the International Initiative in Mental Health Leadership since its inception and was involved in setting up the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association which is now a leading voice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.
Professor Millroy has received numerous awards for contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander mental health, psychotherapy, education, academic excellence and mental health services.
Professor Milroy has also served on the AFL’s Indigenous Advisory Committee.
Mr. Goyder said that Professor Milroy was an outstanding appointment, and that her skills and experience would add to the strength of the Commission.
“I am extremely pleased that Professor Milroy is joining the Commission. Helen brings the highest level of clinical and policy experience in the important areas of health, mental health and indigenous affairs to the game’s governing body,” Mr. Goyder said.
After a commitment by the AFL to appoint an Indigenous Commissioner, the appointment is the result of a process lead by a subcommittee of the AFL Commission, which included AFL Club Presidents, along with consultation from global executive search firm Egon Zehnder.
“I am looking forward to working with the AFL Commission across all aspects of the Commissions work," Professor Milroy said.
"This is an important opportunity to focus on mental health as well as the wellbeing of children and communities through their participation in sport.”