As the co-host of the Geelong Cats Spring Street event and as a member for Western Victoria Region, home of the Geelong Cats, I would like to pay tribute to Polly Farmer and offer my sincere sympathies to his immediate family and his wider football fan club. Polly has been accredited as being one of the AFL’s greatest ever footballers.

Barry Fagg, a significant Geelong Football Club supporter and leading Geelong businessman, told me that as an 11-year-old boy he watched Polly Farmer lead Geelong to victory in the 1963 grand final at the MCG.

Polly was Barry’s childhood hero, and he remembers even painting a picture of Polly palming the ball to Billy Goggin.

The Indigenous Noongar boy changed the game of football by turning handballing from a defensive technique into an offensive one.

It was often said that Polly gave Billy an armchair ride to the goal square.

He was unconventional in his training methods. To perfect his long handballing technique, he would practise passing the ball through a parked-car window 30 metres away.

Graham 'Polly’ Farmer made a profound impact beyond the realms of football, but through his courage and leadership he made a significant contribution to Australian culture as a role model for Indigenous Australians.

15 August 2019