To mark the launch of the inaugural Indigenous Football Week, the Socceroos first ever Indigenous Australian goal scorer, Travis Dodd, shares with the PFA why the initiative is so important and his insights into the outstanding work undertaken by John Moriarty Football.

By Travis Dodd

The launch of the first ever Indigenous Football Week and my role as an ambassador is something I’m extremely proud off.

The game does indeed have rich history, and Indigenous Australians have contributed hugely to it, from the likes for Charles Perkins, John Moriarty and Harry Williams to present day stars such as Kyah Simon, Lydia Williams and Adam Sarota.

This week is about celebrating this and ensuring that the outstanding work undertaken by John Moriarty Football (JMF) is further enhanced. I have witnessed first hand their outstanding work and seen just how important football is to the kids and what a difference the sport can make in their lives.

JMF creates a pathway for Indigenous Australians to have a chance to make it to the very pinnacle of the sport but more importantly it is a vehicle to change their lives.

Sport can do so much more than provide an opportunity to do well in a chosen field. It encourages kids to interact socially with each other, build leadership skills, learn how to work within a team. All crucially important life skills that can be taken away from the football field into real life situations. Using sport as a driver can also encourage school participation/attendance, improve and promote well being through programs delivered during school and football environments.

The Socceroos generosity of donating their match payments from the match against Jordan to the JMF is a huge sign of respect that shows how important growing Indigenous football is to the current Socceroos in the future.

I look forward to being a part of the week and beyond. It will be great knowing that as a former Indigenous footballer I have been able to contribute to finding the next crop of stars.

Supporters can visit the John Moriarty Football website ( to donate, and can encourage family and friends to do the same by uploading and sharing a photo or video of their feet, barefoot, with a ball, or juggling or playing, to Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #BarefootJMF and #GameChanger. SMS donations can be made by texting GOAL to 0455 021 021.