THE AFL is pleased to announce the 2020 Toyota AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Round honouree, Syd Jackson, will be recognised with a special presentation during the Fremantle v Sydney Swans game, Saturday August 22 at Optus Stadium.

>>FROM MISSION LIFE TO THE BIG TIME Watch Syd Jackson's story in the player above

The presentation is formal recognition of Jackson’s contribution to the AFL and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples, with a tribute boomerang made from Wathaurong Glass being presented to Jackson by AFL Commission Chairman Richard Goyder AO.

Syd Jackson’s on-field accolades include two premierships with Carlton in 1970 and 1972, having played 136 games for the Carlton Football Club from 1969 – 1976. Jackson was known his for dynamic playing style on the field and played 104 games for East Perth before coming to Victoria, and a further 13 games for Glenelg in his final season of senior football in 1977.

The AFL Indigenous Australian Team of the Century in 2005. Picture: AFL Photos

Jackson is a member of the East Perth team of the century, won the East Perth Best and Fairest medal in 1966, was named in the Indigenous Team of the century, and a member of the WA Hall of Fame. He grew up at Roelands Mission near Bunbury, Western Australia, and won two medals in the South West League before joining East Perth in the WAFL.

Off the field, Jackson has worked tirelessly to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including supporting the Blues Foundation with the Syd Jackson Program named in his honour. The program seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diverse communities.

The AFL seeks to recognise players who have changed the game’s history and faced racism and discrimination to fight for equality and recognition, and Jackson becomes the third individual to be honoured during the Sir Doug Nicholls Round, following Essendon champion and Australian Football Hall of Fame member Michael Long, and Legend and Geelong champion Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer.

Syd Jackson speaks with Carlton players (L-R) Jeffrey Garlett, Eddie Betts and Chris Yarran during the round one match in 2011. Picture: AFL Photos

Season 2020 marks the fourteenth year the AFL has celebrated the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and their contribution to Australian Football and is the fifth year the dedicated round has been named in honour of Sir Doug Nicholls.

The 2020 Toyota AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Round will be celebrated in Round 13 of the Toyota AFL Premiership Season, beginning with the first-ever Gold Coast home game at TIO stadium against Carlton. This year, matches are being played in the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia.

The Dreamtime game between Richmond and Essendon is being played at TIO Stadium in Darwin for the first time in football history, Saturday, August 22, 7.45 PM AEST. 


About Pastor Sir Doug Nicholls

Born on Cummeragunja mission in New South Wales in 1906, Sir Doug Nicholls played football for Fitzroy before becoming a Pastor and pioneer for reconciliation in Australia. He went on to become the first Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person to be knighted and hold the position of Governor of South Australia. 

  • Born December 9, 1906 in Cummeragunja NSW
  • Died June 4, 1988 in Mooroopna, Victoria
  • VFL/AFL: 54 games for Fitzroy Football Club 1932-1937. Victorian representative player for two games.
  • Was third in Fitzroy's best and fairest count in 1934
  • VFA (now VFL): Northcote Football Club 1927-1931 and 1938-1939. VFA representative player for two games.
  • Northcote Football Club's best and fairest player in 1929 and 1930.
  • Played in Northcote Football Club's premiership side in 1929.
  • Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order 1977
  • Knight Bachelor 1972
  • Governor of South Australia 1976-1977
  • OBE 1968
  • MBE 1957

About Syd Jackson:

  • 104 games East Perth 1963-67, 78 goals
  • 136 games Carlton 1969-76, 165 goals
  • 13 games Glenelg 1977, 21 goals
  • One game WA, one goal
  • Premierships 1970, 1972
  • Best and Fairest 1966
  • Indigenous Team of the Century
  • East Perth Team of the Century

About Wathaurong Glass

Wathaurong Glass represents the Wauthaurong tribe which is comprised of 25 clans, from Geelong, North to Werribee River, North West to Bacchus Marsh, South West to Cressy, South East to Colac, East to Lorne & North back to Geelong encompassing the Bellarine Peninsula.