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Gavin Wanganeen

Last played for Port Adelaide Power in 2006
Games: 300     Born: June 16, 1973     Origin: Port Adelaide
Playing Height: 181cm     Playing Weight: 83kg     Position: Defender
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Gavin Wanganeen Biography

Friday, 25 February 2022
Essendon honours Neale Daniher along with Dustin Fletcher and Gavin Wanganeen as club Legends.
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Gavin Wanganeen, Neale Daniher, Dustin Fletcher, and Dr. Bruce Reid have been unanimously nominated to be elevated to Legend status in the Essendon's Hall of Fame in 2021.
Saturday, 2 May 2020
Gavin Wanganeen gives 2020 AFLW best and fairest winner Madison Prespakis a call to congratulate her and explain their special bond.

"I said to her in the conversation that we have something in common in that we were the first Indigenous players to ever win that award," Wanganeen told

"It's quite unique. It just made me feel really proud of the fact she has got that over and done with. It's a great path going forward for all Indigenous women coming into this space. She's a great role model and will play an important role going forward in that space."

Friday, 10 April 2020
Gavin Wanganeen recounts how an impassioned plea from Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams inspired his last-gasp heroics in the club's famous 2004 preliminary final victory over St Kilda.

"The pressure is on you as an individual, let alone the team. The previous two or three years, we'd dominated the competition for no reward in September," Wanganeen said.

"The air was very, very thick. You could slice it. A few words were said from 'Choco'. There was real passion from him in his voice. He said, 'we need you Gav … we bloody need you'."

Friday, 8 February 2019
Gavin Wanganeen is elected to Port Adelaide's board after winning the majority of the nearly 4,000 votes that were cast by Power members.

Wanganeen's election has made history after he became the first indigenous player to join an AFL club's board.

"I thought it might be time to seriously look at nominating for the board and to go into an environment where you are able to make a significant contribution on decisions that are going to shape your club going forward, so that excited me," Wanganeen said.

"Being the first indigenous past player board member of any of the teams in the AFL makes me feel really proud."

Friday, 28 September 2018
John Longmire, Gavin Wanganeen, Wayne Carey and The West Australian journalist Bridget Lacey will make up the four judges who will decide the winner of the 2018 Grand Final Norm Smith medalist.
Thursday, 28 June 2018
The figureheads behind the new Indigenous Past Player Group plan to have an indigenous players' association up and running in as few as three months.

The group, headlined by president Des Headland and 1993 Brownlow medallist Gavin Wanganeen, came together publicly for the first time to reveal their intentions.

"We believe we have a voice. We've been in our players' shoes in the past, we understand where they're coming from and the cultural barriers they face and we want to be a voice for those boys," Wanganeen said.

"We have a high representation of our indigenous boys in the game, let's face it. Our boys bring excitement to the game and we want to keep that going when we're long gone."

Friday, 1 June 2018
Gavin Wanganeen looks back on being the first indigenous player to win a Brownlow Medal with pride.

“When my name was called as the winner it was a surreal feeling. Being a young fella, it just hit me. It felt like it was a bit of a dream really,” Wanganeen recalled.

“As you get older, you certainly become a lot more appreciative of the things you’ve done. I look back at that now and feel really proud and understand fully what I achieved and the importance of it,” he said.

“I’m sure that made a lot of indigenous people around Australia really proud of their identity.”

Thursday, 5 January 2017
Gavin Wanganeen is currently working with Sherrin on the design for the 2017 Indigenous Round football.

Since hanging up his boots, the dual-premiership player has established himself as an artist, exploring his Aboriginal heritage through painting.

In 2016 he launched his first ever art exhibition at Federation Square in Melbourne, titled Shooting Star.

Sunday, 8 March 2015
Moments after winning last year's Gavin Wanganeen Medal as Port Adelaide's best player under 21 years, Ollie Wines was approached by Wanganeen himself.

"He said 'Congratulations on the last two years, but they're only two years – you've got to go on to bigger and better things'," Wines said.

"He just said to work hard, put your head down and not rest on your laurels.

"That was a big honour coming from him, being such a successful player for our club, and it's stuck with me.

"Being a Brownlow medalist and a two-time premiership player, he's done something right and he knows that hard work gets you there."

Friday, 26 September 2014
Power premiership player Gavin Wanganeen has given Patrick Ryder a call to convince him to strongly consider Port Adelaide as his next club if his heart is no longer at Essendon.

"I wanted him to know how Port Adelaide is placed - and how he would be a valuable player to the Power. Also, he should know how great the indigenous culture is at Port Adelaide," Wanganeen said.

"My message was the Port Adelaide Football Club is going places. If Paddy values a premiership, Port Adelaide is the club to be at.

"But my first advice to Paddy was not to walk away from Essendon unless he was 100 per cent sure there is no turning back."

Thursday, 31 July 2014
Gavin Wanganeen has been reunited with his 2004 premiership jumper nearly a decade after it went missing from the Power's dressing rooms.

Wanganeen told in January that he was one of the last players to shower after the historic win and most of his teammates were on the bus as he dressed.

Hope that he would ever find the jumper was all but lost until an anonymous caller reignited the cold case in January, claiming the friend of a relative had snatched it after the game while employed as an MCG cleaner.

The club received another tip-off midway through this season that proved more fruitful, and assistant coach Josh Carr collected the jumper after the club's round 17 game against Richmond at Etihad Stadium.

The Power surprised Wanganeen with the guernsey on Thursday when he was invited to address the playing group about the pressure of expectation.

"It's an amazing feeling; I'd pretty much given up and was resigned to the fact that I'd never see it again," Wanganeen said.

"I haven't seen it in 10 years since I last took it off after the grand final and jumped into the shower.

"It means that it will be able to stay in my family, that I'll be able to hand it down to my son, Tex.

"I can get it framed now, put it on the wall somewhere and regularly look at it and be reminded of that great day in 2004 when our great Port Adelaide footy club won our first premiership in the AFL."

Saturday, 11 January 2014
Port Adelaide is imploring a mystery caller to again contact the club after receiving an anonymous tip-off on the possible location of club legend Gavin Wanganeen's lost 2004 premiership jumper.

The guernsey went missing after the Power's historic debut Grand Final victory over the Brisbane Lions in 2004, but during the week an anonymous caller claimed the friend of a relative had snatched the jumper after the game while employed as a cleaner at the MCG.

Busy handling media commitments and well wishes from family and friends, Wanganeen remembered being one of the last players to shower after the win.

He told most of his teammates were already back on the bus as he dressed.

Whether he left the premiership jumper on his locker or draped over his bag was now irrelevant, he said, he just wanted the opportunity to one day pass it down to his children.

"I didn't know it had been taken until that night, before I jumped into bed when I unpacked my bag," Wanganeen said.

"Who knows where it was taken but I would love to get it back; it means so much to me and my kids will get that one day.

"No names need to be mentioned, we don't care who did it, there would be no grudges held - but if I was able to get it back I'd be very thankful to that person."

Friday, 18 June 2010
Robert DiPierdomenico is stood down by the AFL from his role as AusKick ambassador after a racist gaffe involving Port Adelaide and Essendon great Gavin Wanganeen.

DiPierdomenico was on record as saying that Wanganeen was "not too bad for an abo" at a footy function.

"I feel very ashamed of the words that I used, and I know that words can hurt and I hurt a lot of people ... and to be stood down from the AFL, I feel very ashamed of that," DiPierdomenico said.

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