Syd is an AFL legend whose story is inspiring, yet heartbreaking especially when hearing it told by Syd himself. Making it from South Bunbury Football club, to East Perth in the WAFL and all the way to Carlton Football Club in 1968 where he played 136 games and won 2 premierships is a tremendous achievement. Within two years of starting at Carlton he played and was amongst the best players in one of the biggest Grand Finals of all time; 126,696 people attended to watch AFL’s longest rivals go head to head in the 1970 clash of Carlton vs Collingwood.
Syd is now living and working at Roelands Village despite all the negative memories of his early days here at the former mission where he and other children from across WA were removed to as part of past government policies of the day of removal, protection and assimilation of Aboriginal children. He has two retro cars which personifies him and his humble nature perfectly, and a small veranda that features only a speed ball and exercise equipment that if you take one look at Syd you can tell that he clearly still uses, impressive for a man in his 70’s.
Today Syd devotes his time to his Ambassadorial roles with MADALAH and WKAI; creating opportunities for Aboriginal children and young people across Australia, including those with disability, to be supported in their health, education, training, employment and sports goals.