Gavin Wanganeen

18Gavin Wanganeen is the definition of an AFL legend who has played some 300 games for Essendon and Port Adelaide. Now retired, he’s a two-time premiership winner, AFL Hall-of-Famer, and Brownlow Medalist.

Now he’s found a new career as a talented artist. A descendant of the Kokatha people of the Central/South Western Desert in South Australia – he’s inspired by the land, culture and stories of his Aboriginal heritage.

Growing up, Gavin spent time on the State’s West Coast, where his maternal great grandfather, Dick Davey was a well-respected leader of both the people of Kooniba Mission, and the general community.

While his sporting ability emerged early, Gavin also shared a love of colour and storytelling through art. Yet it wasn’t until his twenties, when a discussion with his Aboriginal teammates sparked a competition to produce the best piece of art from their respective regions, that Gavin made what would be a life changing decision to start painting.

Gavin Wanganeen is an important and inspiring role model within the Indigenous community due to his successful sporting career and transition to working artist.

He lives in Adelaide with his wife and young children, which he says is the perfect place to raise a family.