The MURRA Journey
Gavin Wanganeen is the Founder and Managing Director of Murra Partners.
Gavin is an Australian Football League (AFL) legend, acclaimed contemporary Indigenous artist and Aboriginal activist. Gavin was born in Mount Gambier, South Australia, and is a descendent of the Kokatha people of the Western Desert in South Australia.
"We set up MURRA Partners to Close the Gap in corporate Australia. First Nations people just don't have representation.
It's an area that is neglected and so we're playing a leading hand at MURRA in creating culturally safe work places, educating leaders and creating role models to ensure brilliant Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Peoples have clear pathways to peruse their dream careers and be mentored along that journey."
"Football has played such a key role in my life and I was so lucky to have the opportunities that came with playing in the AFL. I'm passionate about making sure that younger generations have opportunities to follow their dream careers whatever that may be."
Growing up, Gavin spent time on South Australia’s west coast where his maternal great-grandfather, Dick Davey, was a respected leader of the people of Koonibba Mission and the community at large. Davey was one of the first Indigenous people to be “permitted” to purchase land, and was a talented footballer, playing for the Koonibba Football Club, today recognised as the country’s oldest surviving Aboriginal football club.
Gavin is devoted to giving back to community through his role as ambassador for Power Community Programs with the Port Adelaide Football Club and Deadly Choices, an initiative run by Aboriginal Health. He travels to
remote 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.
Gavin is also an ambassador for the AFL’s Aboriginal youth football team, the Boomerangs, and travelled with the group to China in 2016. In addition, the Gavin Wanganeen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarship at the University of South Australia was established in 2005 to enable members of these communities to continue their education and, in turn, become role models themselves.
"Football has not only provided me with wonderful opportunities, it’s also instilled a strong sense of achievement and an understanding that role models can make a real difference to people's lives. I believe Indigenous kids need a range of role models. Yes, sport plays an important role, but they also need exposure to leaders from a range of vocations: teachers, business leaders, medical professionals, researchers and artists.”