As players today return for the pre-season, Hawthorn is proud to welcome a new chapter in its history as the club has renamed its Waverley Park training and administration facility ‘Bunjil Bagora’.  

‘Bunjil Bagora’ comes from the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung language and was gifted to Hawthorn by Wurundjeri Woiwurrung Senior Elder Aunty Joy Murphy.

Bunjil is a symbolic portrayal of the ancestral creator spirit and is regarded as majestic, swift and fierce. Bagora can be translated as a cultural place, a reminder of a rich and surviving land of thousands of years.  

Hawthorn’s training facility has been renamed Bunjil Bagora to acknowledge and honour Indigenous history and reconciliation in Australia. Hawthorn is the first AFL club to use Indigenous language to name its training facility.   

Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett emphasised the club’s pride in renaming the facility.       

“Hawthorn is honoured to have been gifted the name Bunjil Bagora,” Kennett said. 

“As a club, we are committed to celebrating the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to drive positive social outcomes and change.  

“By giving our facility an Indigenous name, we are making an overt statement about this commitment.”

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said the renaming is a pivotal stride in the club’s dedication to honouring and embracing Indigenous cultures. 

“The club recognises its unique ability to use the power of football to provide opportunities for the broader community to engage with and further their understanding of the cultures of First Nations people.”

“The name of our home base is just one of the ways the club is actively sparking conversation and engagement with Indigenous culture.   

“Through the actions outlined in our Reconciliation Action Plan, we are weaving Indigenous culture throughout all aspects of our club, the renaming of our home base here at Waverley Park to Bunjil Bagora is a moment in Hawthorn’s history we are proud of and want to celebrate with the community.”  

Australian-owned and operated cleaning service providers Sanifect has come onboard as partners of the renaming. The partnership with Sanifect has provided the necessary funding to rebrand Bunjil Bagora.    

Sanifect co-owners Nicholas Markov and Tom Vasilevski said the move to partner with Hawthorn was a big commitment for a modest-sized business, but one that was set to return immense social dividends.  

“This name is a significant gift from the Traditional Owners of the land. We feel very privileged by this honour and can’t thank Senior Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Joy Murphy, and the traditional owners enough for its manifestation,” Markov and Vasilevski said. 

“We are proud to be able to do our bit, and proud we can do it in partnership with Hawthorn Football Club We just love that we’re involved in something bigger than ourselves, it propels us to reach higher and go further than one normally would.  

“We want to see Sanifect and Hawthorn continue to grow in this way, doing more great things from the board rooms to the ground.   

“We’re certain there will be great things ahead as Sanifect and Hawthorn Football Club continue to work together on even more inspiring causes.”  

Hawthorn’s training and administration facility Bunjil Bagora will be officially honoured with a formal event in early 2022 to commemorate this pivotal change in the club’s history.