AFL players from Adelaide Crows sign the Close the Gap pledge to help improve Aboriginal life expectancy

Campaigns and Advocacy, Media Releases article written on the 22 Feb 2008

The Adelaide Crows kicked off the AFL season by urging the Australian government to commit to closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians within a generation.
‘It’s time to close the gap,’ said Aboriginal Crows player and role model Andrew McLeod. ‘For far too long we’ve had to deal with inadequate and poor health quality and we need to raise awareness and be active in making sure that this doesn’t continue and to make sure that there’s longevity for our people.’
In preparation for their match against Fremantle on Saturday 23 February, The Crows invited 50 Aboriginal children to a training session. Once it was finished, the players and children all donned Close the Gap t-shirts and showed their support for the Australia-wide campaign to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.
Most of the squad and coaching staff, including six Aboriginal players Andrew McLeod, Graham Johncock, Jonathon Griffin, Jared Petrenko, Jarrhan Jacky and Ed Cunrow, then signed the Close the Gap pledge which urges Federal, State and Territory governments to close the 17 year life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians within 25 years.
‘We’ve got seven Indigenous players in our football club now and it’s the most we’ve ever had,’ said the coach of Adelaide Crows, Neil Craig. ‘It’s great for the rest of our team mates to get a much better understanding of Indigenous culture and some of the issues they face.’
Oxfam Australia’s Executive Director Andrew Hewett thanked the players for their support.
‘It’s exciting that Adelaide Crows have come on board to show their support for this important campaign,’ he said. ‘With Australians from all walks of life coming together to close the gap, we can solve the Indigenous health crisis within a generation.’
The children who took part in the training session were from the Armata, Ernabella, Fregon, Murputja, Pipalyatjara, Watarru, Indulkana, Kenmore Park, Mimili, Oak Valley, Yalata and Oodnadatta Aboriginal communities in South Australia.
Join Adelaide Crows and pledge your support of the Close the Gap campaign at
For more information call Ian Woolverton on 0409 181 454