Adam Goodes’ inspirational off-field work was recognised on Monday night, with the Sydney Swans champion taking out the 2013 NSW Australian of the Year Award.
The dual Brownlow Medallist was recognised for his work funding and co-chairing the Go Foundation, which exists to enable a brighter future for Indigenous people through employment, education and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Goodes’ much-admired stance against racism, which came to the fore this season when a spectator racially abused the star player in the Swans’ round nine clash with Collingwood, was also highlighted on the night along with his efforts working with troubled youth, including those in detention centres.
Despite being unable to attend Monday night’s ceremony at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Goodes shared his pride for receiving the award in a pre-recorded acceptance message.
“I'm really honoured to be able to represent NSW, just being recognised for doing what I do is always nice,” he said.
Goodes, who will enter his 16th AFL season at the Swans in 2014, said he hoped the Go Foundation would be able to provide Indigenous youth with the same platform for success that the has Sydney Swans provided him.
“That's the thing we want to be able to provide indigenous kids: provide the opportunity we had," he said.
“That's the success right there."
Goodes shared his excitement via Twitter last night, and thanked Go Foundation co-founder Michael O’Loughlin for accepting the award on his behalf.
After taking out the state honour, Goodes is now in the running to become the 2014 Australian of the Year.