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Home > What's on > Footy: the Great Unifier?

Footy: the Great Unifier?

21 September 2023, 6:30pm8:00pm
Cost$38 (general); $30 (concession and paid members); $25 (First Nations)
Location Conversation Quarter
State Library Victoria
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

The thrill of a good mark, the stadium-wide gasp after a fight on the field, the exhilaration of a goal scored in the final seconds. 

Aussie Rules is more than just a game: It's embedded in our cultural identity, uniting people around a field where legends are born and epic battles are fought.  

But the battles aren’t just fought on the field – footy can be at the centre of national conversations around racism, gender equity, drugs and mental health. 

As it heads towards its 170th year, does footy still play a significant role in our national identity? Does it truly reflect our core values and character?  

Join award-winning football journalists and commentators Caroline Wilson and Mike Sheahan, and North Melbourne Football Club President Dr Sonja Hood, moderated by the first female editor of The Football Record, Corrie Perkin, to deliberate on the game’s past, present and future.

Please note: Dean Rioli is no longer taking part in this event.

About the panel 

Over her 40-year career, Caroline Wilson has covered some of sport’s biggest stories. She began covering football in 1982 and became The Age’s chief football writer in 1999, retiring in 2017. She is also a panel member of Channel Nine’s Footy Classified, a 3AW football commentator, and is a co-presenter of the popular Don’t Shoot The Messenger weekly podcast.

Mike Sheahan is one of Australian journalism’s most decorated sports journalists. He was chief football writer and associate sports editor for the Herald Sun for 18 years. Prior to retiring from television work in 2020, Mike was also a panellist on the Fox Footy program On the Couch and host of the interview show Open Mike, which was the catalyst behind his 2013 bestselling book of the same name. 

Dr Sonja Hood was appointed as President of North Melbourne Football Club in February 2022 and is the CEO of Community Hubs Australia. Previously she was general manager of community engagement at the North Melbourne Football Club, heading up The Huddle to engage culturally diverse young people through education and sport. 

Corrie Perkin is an award-winning journalist, podcaster, editor and a former bookshop owner. Corrie was the first woman journalist in Australia to cover Australian Rules and in the mid-1990s she edited the AFL’s Football Record. Corrie is also the creator and Director of the Sorrento Writers Festival – a festival which celebrates Australian Rules Football in its annual program. Corrie is a Wheeler Centre Board member.


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