The AFL welcomes the report of the Senate's Community Affairs References Committee into Concussions and repeated head trauma in contact sports that was tabled yesterday (Report), the learnings that will come of it and the potential for increased Governmental investment in concussion and head trauma in contact sports including Australian Football at all levels.
The AFL fully cooperated with the Committee's inquiry, providing a detailed written before CEO-elect, Andrew Dillon, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael Makdissi and General Counsel and General Manager Legal & Regulatory, Stephen Meade appeared before the Melbourne public hearing in April 2023.
The Report sets out 13 recommendations for Government and national sporting organisations and the AFL will consider all the recommendations and what improvements can be made, noting that many of the recommended actions are already being progressed.
AFL General Counsel and General Manager Legal & Regulatory, Stephen Meade said, "The AFL welcomes the Senate Report and the important contribution that it makes to the consideration of current and potential initiatives to be undertaken by Government and sporting organisations, including the AFL, with respect to the response to concussion and head trauma.
"The health and safety of footballers at all levels of our sport is of paramount importance to the AFL. We have in place our concussion research and management strategy that is overseen by the AFL Concussion Steering Group and Working Groups, engaging personnel from across the AFL and broader industry in formulating and implementing practical measures to advance each of our objectives as to improved education, prevention, detection, recovery, support and innovation. The AFL has a continuous improvement model which will be informed by the contents of the Report.
"As is recognised by the Report and the recommendations that have been made, the response to concussion and head trauma sustained in contact sports is the collective responsibility of many in the community, including participants at all levels, the governing bodies sports including the AFL, health professionals and Government. The Report and recommendations contemplate an increased level of investment in various concussion and head trauma initiatives by Government and we look forward to discussing and collaborating with Government in respect of their policy positions in response to the Report."