Collingwood have appointed former Socceroo Francis Awaritefe to their Anti-Racism group, which was formed after the release of the AFL club’s Do Better report last month.

A human rights advocate, Awaritefe is chair of soccer’s Professional Footballers Australia and has been working towards combating racial abuse in that code.

The Collingwood Expert Group on Anti-Racism met for the first time last week and heard from the report’s authors Professors Larissa Behrendt and Lindon Coombs.

The appointment of Awaritefe was formalised at the meeting, while it was agreed Helen Szoke will co-chair the group with Collingwood director Jodie Sizer.

The Do Better report was commissioned by Collingwood in 2020 and released in early February of this year, with the formation of the group one of 18 recommendations included.

Its work is to assist the Magpies develop a framework for change and ultimately provide community leadership on addressing racism.

Sizer welcomed Awaritefe and the opportunity to hear from Professors Behrendt and Coombs.

“In recruiting for the group we prioritised expertise, capability and passion and Francis possesses these qualities and more. His record, like all of the other members, is one of commitment to change and impact,” Sizer said in a statement.

“His appointment was timely in that he could hear from Larissa and Lindon as they gave context and necessary background to their report which is something of a touchstone for the important work Collingwood must do.”

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