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Indigenous Students Visit Famous Stables

A group of 14 indigenous students from across regional Victoria have been treated to a private tour of Godolphin’s Flemington stables in the company of Darby McCarthy, who rode in five Melbourne Cups and is arguably Australia’s greatest indigenous jockey.

Indigenous Students Visit Famous Stables

A group of 14 indigenous students from across regional Victoria have been treated to a private tour of Godolphin’s Flemington stables in the company of Darby McCarthy, who rode in five Melbourne Cups and is arguably Australia’s greatest indigenous jockey.

The visit to Carbine Lodge formed part of the Baldau Yiooghen Youth Leadership Academy’s ‘Southern Experience’.

The program included a tour of Rod Laver Arena, the home of the Australian Open, and culminated in the students attending the annual ‘Dream Time at the ‘G’ AFL match between Richmond and Essendon.


So-called because in Wurundjeri language “baldau yiooghen” means “big dreams”, the academy is run by Anglicare Victoria and The Long Walk, the charity inspired by Essendon FC legend Michael Long’s walk to Canberra to get the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people back on the national agenda.

The program brings together several community, cultural and sporting groups, including Racing Victoria, to support young indigenous people as they strive towards their educational, employment and leadership goals.

One of only three jockeys in history to complete the AJC Derby-Epsom Handicap double at Randwick on the same day, McCarthy stands as an inspirational figure in the indigenous community.

With more than 1000 race wins to his name in Australia, McCarthy decided to embark on an overseas stint which included riding at the world-renowned Royal Ascot meeting in the UK.

McCarthy was joined at the Godolphin stables by Ian Goolagong, Tennis Australia’s Indigenous Ambassador and the younger brother of 14-time Grand Slam champion, Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

Reg Fleming, who served as legendary trainer Bart Cummings’ stable foreman for two decades, led the tour of the 50 horse boxes at Carbine Lodge, which overlook the back straight of Flemington racecourse.

As well as meeting some elite equine athletes the students also heard from Godolphin stable staff, including veterinarian Ben Mason and farrier John Bunting, on the important roles they play in the thoroughbred racing industry.

“It was a privilege for the students to meet Darby McCarthy, one of Australia’s greatest ever indigenous jockeys and the ambassador for our Darby McCarthy Indigenous Scholarship, and to be given a tour by Reg Fleming of the world-class facilities at Godolphin’s Carbine Lodge,” said RV CEO Giles Thompson.

“I would like to thank Anglicare Victoria for giving us the opportunity to be part of the academy, and to recognise our fellow partners for providing the opportunity for young members of the indigenous community to realise their ‘big dreams’.

“Racing Victoria is fully committed to ‘Racing For All’, and initiatives like this go a long way towards helping us achieve this aim.”

“Baldau Yiooghen is all about promoting opportunities for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to help them achieve their full potential,” said Anglicare Victoria Community Development Manager, David Law.

“The organisations involved provide invaluable opportunities and experiences for the young people taking part, so that they have all the guidance and encouragement needed to achieve their goals.”

“Godolphin is proud to support the Baldau Yiooghen Youth Leadership Academy for the second year running, and it was great to open the doors at Carbine Lodge for the students this morning,” said Godolphin Managing Director in Australia, Vin Cox.

“This is an exciting tour which will hopefully encourage the students to join the racing and breeding industry. Supporting programs like this is something Godolphin sees as an important component of what we do on a global scale.”

The other partners in the Baldau Yiooghen Youth Leadership Academy are the Australian National Academy of Music, Anglicare Victoria, Bendigo District and Aboriginal Co-operative, Essendon Football Club, Federation University, Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative, Melbourne Victory, Opera Australia, Tennis Australia and The Long Walk.

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