The Fitzroy Stars Football & Netball Club have a story to tell. Founded in 1973, they faced many challenges over the years. The club has been revived multiple times and today the club is strong and growing.
Today their gates were open, and the community came in to witness a game of Australian Army 4th Brigade Football Team taking on the Fitzroy Stars.
Welcome to country and Smoking ceremony was performed by Uncle Bill Nicholson with Army Elder Aunty Lorraine OAM speaking to all gathered. Pipes and bands played followed by Aunty Esme Bamblett President of the Fitzroy Stars Football and Netball Club and Fitzroy Stars CEO Troy Austin finishing the formal part of the day.
Today was not just about a game but a family day where the sun shone, kids played, fried onions and sausages filled the bellies of all who came along plus ice-cream to finish. Smiles, laughter and a great game concluded the days events with Fitzroy Stars winning the inaugural , “John Stewart Murray (OAM) Shield”.
The Stars have long been known for being an Aboriginal football club, however it wasn’t always that way. None of the founding members were Aboriginal and the original team consisted of all different cultural backgrounds, including Aboriginal players. The Fitzroy Stars joined the Melbourne Metropolitan Football League for the 1973 season in ‘C’ Grade and brought together players of all different cultural backgrounds. “The side was a United Nations of footy players that came from all walks of life.” – Uncle Jim Berg. It was an integral part of the way people spent their weekends, giving families a place where they could participate in sport and gather as a community. The occasion became an important weekly meeting place.
The STARS wore Geelong Football Club style jumpers and only had enough jumpers for the players on the field. When a player came to the interchange, they had to take their jumper off and give it to their team-mate that was coming into the game. In 2006, Troy Austin (President), son of Jock, alongside Alan Thorpe (Vice President), Phil Cooper (Treasurer), Frank Hytten (Secretary), Alf Bamblett (Executive Member) and Alan Brown (Executive Member), alongside a wave of motivated members led a fresh bid to see the Stars join the Northern Football League. Kevin Sheedy, AFL legend joined the campaign in 2007, becoming the number 1 ticket holder. The Stars began training at WR Ruthven Reserve, Preston in 2007 even before being accepted into a competition. Having these men on the track no doubt showed we were ready and put pressure on the NFL and its clubs to give us a home. Today the club is in the process of building a new facility for the ladies where the men will be able to utilise the gym space. This club is pro-active. Inviting and open to all to come along and support.