Rioli Fund to raise money for Indigenous health research 


A new fund, founded by AFL legend Dean Rioli, has been established to raise much-needed awareness and cash for Indigenous health research.

Mr Rioli, an Aboriginal man originally from the Tiwi Islands, is focusing on raising money for Aboriginal child health and mental health research through Charles Darwin University’s Menzies School of Health Research.

The “Rioli Fund for Aboriginal Health” was launched at a recent gathering of some of Melbourne’s most influential business people and philanthropists.

The Rioli Fund’s “discovery dinner” educated, informed and engaged 30 board members  about the health problems facing Indigenous Australians in remote communities.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Mr Rioli said that since his playing career ended he had had the opportunity to visit many Indigenous communities across Australia and remained appalled by high rates of disease, inadequate education and poor living conditions.

“Indigenous kids face a bleak future. They are suffering from chronic ear disease, skin sores and scabies, and respiratory diseases such as pneumonia at epidemic proportions,” he said.

“Young men are committing suicide and people are turning to substance abuse which is breaking up families and communities.

“We need to break this vicious cycle and one of the ways we can do this is through research. Research helps us find solutions and make sure that our efforts are likely to work.”

Thanking Mr Rioli and AFL legend Kevin Sheedy for their commitment, Director of Menzies, Professor Jonathan Carapetis said that attempting to address the issues around Indigenous health needed a multi-pronged approach.

“We can’t just rely on government support to fix this problem,” he said.

“The issues are of such enormity that a great deal of community and corporate backing is needed, not only to raise much-needed funds, but also to act as a catalyst to drive political will.”

Donations can be made to the Rioli Fund for Aboriginal Health at or by calling Ms Lisa Stapels on 03 9726 0551.