Danny Frawley’s legacy will live on at RSEA Park, Moorabbin with St Kilda Football Club today joining the Federal and Victorian Governments in announcing the construction of the Danny Frawley Centre for Health & Wellbeing.
The combination of Federal and State Government grants totalling nearly $16m, in addition to philanthropic support, means the Danny Frawley Centre will combine a host of facilities, services and programs which will support the physical and mental health of St Kilda people and the community alike.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the facility would be a unique venue for sport, community, health and mental health organisations to engage the local community.
“Before his passing, Danny and the club had been working towards this project to give the local community somewhere their physical and mental health could be front and centre,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“The Morrison Government’s investment, along with support from the Victorian Government and philanthropic donations, is turning Danny’s vision into a reality.”
Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said the centre would play a vital role in continuing Frawley’s legacy.
“Danny Frawley was an inspirational Victorian on and off the field, and helped many people through his efforts to promote awareness of mental health issues,” Mr Pakula said.
St Kilda Football Club President Andrew Bassat paid tribute to the club legend and thanked those who had made the Danny Frawley Centre possible.
“We are extremely humbled by the contribution of both the Federal and State Government, along with the support of very generous members of our Foundation for helping us bring the Danny Frawley Centre to life,” he said.
“In establishing what role the club and Danny Frawley Centre could play in the community, we have been guided by some of Victoria's most respected mental health experts and organisations.
"We will continue to partner with others to deliver vital education programs that serve to decrease the stigma attached to mental illness and promote proactive steps people can take to achieve positive mental health.
"Danny was not only a champion of St Kilda, but a leading voice in encouraging people to speak up about their struggles with mental health and to seek help.
Frawley’s wife, Anita, said her family was thrilled to see everything he stood for be brought to life.
"Danny so often spoke about coming from a generation where manning up was to suffer in silence. He knew that wasn't the way forward,” she said.
“Manning up now is to put your hand up and say you need help, no matter your age, gender or background. To have a facility named in his honour that will help so many people do just that means the world to us.
“I would like to thank the incredible hard work of Matt Finnis, Andrew Bassat and the St Kilda Football Club for getting this project off the ground.
“And of course, we are so grateful to the Federal and Victorian Governments for understanding the importance of the centre for our club and our community.”
The Danny Frawley Centre will build upon and extend St Kilda’s existing RSEA Park Stage 2 development plans and ultimately incorporate a 25m lap pool, hydrotherapy pool and rehabilitation gym, as well as a multi-purpose movement space capable of delivering wellbeing programs to schools and community groups of up to 250 participants.
Dedicated mental health facilities will include consulting suites for service providers, shared work areas for program development and research, a community education room for prevention and training programs as well as casual meeting spaces for facility users.
Preliminary site construction of the centre is set to commence prior to Christmas, with the project completion date currently scheduled for early 2022.