It was television that first brought Russell Robertson to the public eye – he was drafted to the Melbourne Football Club from Tasmania under 18s after recruiters saw him featured in a home video on the Footy Show’s‘Almost Football Legends ‘.
Making his debut in 1997, Robertson soon became known as one of the game's best high-flying forwards, taking numerous “Marks of the Week” and twice leading club goal kicking.
The 2003 Best & Fairest winner had a golden year in 2005, playing for Australia in the International Rules series against Ireland. He was named the Leading Goal Kicker that year, an accolade he had previously enjoyed in2001.
After retiring in 2009, Russell pursued a musical career, playing with his band which he continues to this day.
His interest in mental health and wellbeing has sprung from his commitment to working with the community on the issues of abuse within the home. Russell has worked in schools and the community identifying the connection between violence against women and children and men’s mental health issues.
Russell regularly presents at charity events and within the corporate world, his presentations include talking about taboo subjects like suicide &domestic violence. He is also a supporter of Cure for MND, a cause close to the heart of his good friend Neale Daniher, who suffer from the disease.
IN RUSSELL’S OWN WORDS…….
“I have worked within the AFL’s current community program for 6 years and derivations of the current program for 10 years, which aims itself at both men and women’s football clubs Australia wide and speaks to the issues of Drugs, Alcohol and Violence against women.
The program outlines the current issues, stats and identifies causes of violence against women, most of which comes from a history of drug, alcohol, family abuse and depression. There are also aspects within my session that cover specifically drugs and alcohol.
I have worked with the AFLPA in a similar program for 2 years specifically dealing with mental health, I am also a spokesperson and ‘friend and mentor’ for Reach Youth for almost 15 years.”