People and Culture in Clubland

People and Culture in Clubland

In the vibrant world of AFL, stories of dedication and empowerment often emerge from unexpected places. Lachlan Edwards, proud Peek Whurrong, Kirrae Whurrong Man from Gunditjmara Country, Arrernte Alice Springs, Wadda Wurrung. The Indigenous Programs Manager at the Western Bulldogs, his journey from an AFL SportsReady Trainee to a pivotal figure in promoting diversity and mentorship within clubland is inspiring and impactful.

Over fifteen years ago, Alumni Lachy began his career with a traineeship in horticulture through AFL SportsReady. This experience laid the groundwork for his professional journey. He later completed a second traineeship with Surfing VIC/YMCA, further developing his skills and broadening opportunities.

I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the AFL,

it was just a matter of whether it was through employment or actually playing itself.

Today, Lachlan plays a vital role at the Western Bulldogs,

balancing football operations with administrative duties and his expertise in people and culture is invaluable to the club.

Lachlan is a strong advocate for AFL SportsReady’s Warumilang Program traineeship program, drawing from his own experiences to promote its benefits. He believes in the program’s ability to provide more than just a pathway to employment; it’s a tool for personal growth and empowerment. His belief in the program has significantly influenced the club’s decision to adopt the Trainee model.

As Indigenous Programs Manager, Lachlan’s impact is significant. He mentors individuals like Myles Brinkworth, a First Nations Trainee at the club, offering guidance and support drawn from his own journey.

I have told Myles the best thing that he can do is network, networking is where you are going to get to places – that is what happened with me.

Reflecting on his journey, Lachlan highlights the importance of networking and education.

Myles and I have had conversations about his next step over pancakes, about what is the next step for him in his career.

Lachlan helps Myles navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead, fostering personal and professional growth.

I have been in Myles shoes before!

He understands the complexities of cultural identity within the football landscape and works to create a safe and inclusive environment for all staff and players.

Through his leadership, Lachlan promotes dialogue, awareness and understanding. Ensuring cultural considerations are a priority within the club.

Why we did what we did with this tranineeship role, having Myles spend time in a variety of different departments in the club. When I did my traineeship, I was only in one department and it was the same with other people I know who also did traineeships. 

Sally, the People Manager at the Western Bulldogs, praises Lachlan for his dedication to promoting this mixed traineeship opportunity and championing diversity. She acknowledges his role as a Mentor and role model, emphasising his commitment to nurturing the next generation of talent.

Lachlan’s journey from Trainee to Mentor demonstrates the power of perseverance and the impact of meaningful opportunities.

From his beginnings as a Trainee to his current role, Lachlan continues to inspire and uplift those around him. His work reminds us, of the potential within us all.

If you’ve recently completed your Traineeship, join our Alumni!

Since 2000, We have kick-started the careers of over 3,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees.

The Warumilang Program is our dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program to assist First Nations peoples.

With tailored employment and training pathways that aim to provide opportunities for First Nations peoples to thrive and be successful.

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