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Graham 'Polly' Farmer Honoured With AFL Indigenous Round

When people talk about the modern AFL footballer, it’s impossible to go past players like Nic Naitanui or Nat Fyfe, but it’s players like Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer who paved the way.

In the lead-up to WA Day, Paul & Lise have been bringing some of the West Aussies they admire into the studio for a chat, like Gary Shannon and Ten News' Narelda Jacobs.

Paul & Lise were joined on Wednesday by Kim Farmer, daughter of the great man himself.

Graham Farmer is now 83 and is in a nursing home and suffers from dementia.

Coincidently, the AFL have announced that this year’s Indigenous Round will be played in his honour. 

“It’s a huge honour for Dad,” Ms Farmer said.

“The fact that he hung up his footy boots many many years ago, it’s incredible that people are even still talking about dad, so this is awesome.”

Paul said one of Farmer’s achievements was not only representing Indigenous people on the field but football in general.

“That he had such a brilliant WAFL career and a VFL career – back in those days you were lucky to have one of those, but your Dad really set a precedent for players from Western Australia and South Australia excelling on the east coast.”

Ms Farmer agreed.

“What people perhaps don’t appreciate how hard it was to actually get transferred from the WAFL to the then-VFL, he was extremely tenacious because he desperately wanted to do that.”

 “I think he was a bit ahead of his time,” she said.

The Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer Foundation was also an important venture which Ms Farmer said many may not know about.

“Dad wanted to create a foundation for Aboriginal children to stay on at school and to be able to go on to other industries other than football,” she said.

“So, to get a trade or to maybe g o on to higher education if they wanted to?” asked Lise.

“Absolutely,” Ms Farmer said. “To go on to university, TAFE, apprenticeships and it started with one small project in Karratha just over 20 years ago and now it’s part of the WA Education Department.”

Check out the video up top for the full chat

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