The Forever Foundation is proud of the many and varied ways it has helped support the Club since its’ inception in 1999.
This support has taken place in various forms and has raised millions of dollars for many projects and initiatives. However, its achievements and impact is far greater than raising funds.
The Foundation’s achievements are:
The Forever Foundation seed funded the production of the Historic Players Registers.
At the instigation of Club Legend John Schultz, and with the support of Yvonne and Kevin Meddings, the Forever Foundation provided seed funding that enabled the publication of the first Historic Players Register.
(Insert photo of K & Y Meddings with J Schultz holding the book)
This register was printed in two forms, a hard back cover and a leather bound limited edition copy.
Subsequently a second Register has been published.
“These Registers document the experiences of players and significant individuals who have been involved with the Club. These stories are told through their eyes, and provides an important insight into the Club and its’ history” said John Schultz.
We have Kevin and Yvonne Meddings to thank for dedicating countless hours to these milestone publications.
“We wanted to record the significant influence various people played in shaping our Club into what it is today” said Kevin & Yvonne.
Books can be purchased from the Club shop at Whitten Oval.
It is intended to continue this work of recording stories. Further stories will be made available within this website. (Link to stories)
This initiative fulfils one of the Foundation’s objectives, that of documenting and recording today’s history of our Club for the generation of tomorrow. The Foundation is committed to ensuring the Club’s history is preserved and honoured forever.
Historic Players Register section to be proof read by Rachel Murphy, John Shuiltz, Kevin and Yvonne Meddings
Bulldogs Heritage Museum
In 2002 when Campbell Rose AM arrived at the Club, he found little Club memorabilia or items of historical significance within the Clubhouse (unless it was bolted down).
As the Club had no secure place to store or display, many historical items had found their way into people’s private possession, homes and/or collections.
“I guessed that this was proof that supporters wanted to look after - and respected - the history of the Club when at that point in time the Club was unable to do this itself” said Rose.
Rose recalls “Right at the onset of the Whitten Oval redevelopment, we made a commitment that the project should include storage and a museum to diplay what little memorabilia the Club had in its’ possession on display” .
In doing so, it was hoped that many of the private collections would be donated back to the Club to be preserved and displayed for all to see.
Since the Museum’s opening in 2010, it has been reassuring to see items of historic value returning to the Club for display in the museum.
(Quote from donor) “I used to love bringing my mates around to Pop’s home after another one of those painful losses at a cold and desolate Whitten Oval. Our pain would be relieved by Pop’s passionate stories recalling the 1954 Grand Final win. He would pour over the Bulldogs stuff he had proudly displayed in the front room. When he passed, bless his soul, the family agreed that his memorabilia be donated to the new museum”. Donor to be found
Following on from these initial steps and the hard work of many, including the work of Rachel Murphy (then a Club employee), the Bulldogs Museum built momentum and is going from strength to strength.
In more recent times under the leadership of Peter Gordon (President 2012 – present) Charleen Cairns has taken on the responsibility of continuing to develop and nurture the Club’s historical collection and display.
(Photo of Charleen in the Museum with visitors)
The display is available and proudly open to all who visit the Clubhouse. The Club is grateful to all donors and for the skills Charleen has brought to the Museum as its’ honorary curator.
“The history of the Bulldogs and the stories that are passed down about the different people and characters are so inspiring. These stories are brought together in the Museum.
There’s a cliché that you don’t know where you’re going ‘til you know where you’ve been. The new Museum gives people a grounding in what’s come before. I think it enriches younger generations who will come through and experience the Bulldogs heritage. They can touch it and feel it, instead of just reading about it in history books.
I think it brings the people in, and it’s nice to have the space to store our next ten premierships.
Robert Murphy (xxx – 2017) Club Captain (xxx – 2017)
Future donations to the museum can be made by contacting the Club at XXX@xxxx or telephone xxxxx.
The Bulldogs Museum copy to be proof read by Rachel Murphy
Whitten Oval Redevelopment
The Forever Foundation was instrumental in the fundraising for this ambitious project, and the cornerstone partner in raising some $32.5 Million needed for the transformation of the Whitten Oval to the sporting precinct that it is today.
It is widely agreed that the development of the Whitten Oval as a local Community Hub was visionary and an extraordinary achievement, spearheaded by then CEO Campbell A Rose AM (2002-2010).
This initiative played a pivotal role in changing the culture of the Club from hopeless, helpless and hapless to one where the Club could aspire to greater things.
“The redevelopment instilled belief in the very core of the Club - the playing group and all those around it – that we had the best facilities of the competition, and everyone was now playing catch up with us” said Rose.
There is no doubt the redevelopment played a significant part in the 2016 Premiership victory against the Sydney Swans – the first in 64 years.
Funds raised by the Foundation led to a major investment from Federal, State and Local government, Victoria University, the AFL and philanthropic bodies. photos of Steve Bracks, John Howard
This fundraising initiative underpinned the establishment of the Bulldogs Museum, the development of the Infill Building between the John Gent and Whitten stands, the Club Community Sports Hall, the establishment of the Elite Learning Centre (ELC), its fit out with state of the art equipment for our players to be competitive and at the cutting edge of training and rehabilitation amongst many other facilities. Before & after PHOTOS
The Foundation wishes to acknowledge and thank those who contributed towards the Whitten Oval Redevelopment Capital Campaign. These donors are proudly named at the entrance to the George Smorgan Foyer at Whitten Oval. They are also reproduced here (hyperlink)
Snapshot of Whitten Oval redevelopment timeframe & key milestones
Xxx 200x Whitten Oval Redevelopment proposal conceived
Xxx 200x Lee Selsick engaged to produce Presentation Box
Xxx 200x McCabe Archtecture engaged for master plan development concept, and Craig Smith of Napier Blakely to provide costings
Xxx 200x Letters secured from Premier of Victoria The Honorable Steve Bracks, Xxx xx of Maribyrnong City Council and Andrew Demetriou of the AFL, pledging support and financial commitment to the redevelopment
Xxx 200x Forever Foundation commits to raise $2M as a part of overall funding package
Xxx 200x John Allen's support enlisted to help get the Presentation Box and its contents brought to the attention of then Prime Minister John Howard
Xxx 200x Final submission submitted to The office of the Prime Minister Of Australia the Right Honorable John Howard for review
Xxx 200x $9M Federal Funding approved for development, contingent upon other funding commitments being materialised
Xxx 200x The REALLY hard work starts to make sure all the funding pledges are honoured
Geoff Morley appointed to be the Redevelopment Project manager, reporting to the Club Chief Executive Campbell Rose
Xxx 200x Then the REALLY, REALLY hard work started:
Pedthorp Architects Appointed
Salter Construction appointed
Victoria University (VU) commit funding
Maribyrnong City Council (MCC) reject Club’s application for a planning permit to refurbish the John Gent stand
Construction halts on John Gent stand
Planning powers and Committee of Management responsibility over the Western Oval Reserve Crown Land precinct is removed from the MCC by special decree by the then Minister of Planning, the Hon. Justin Madden
Lease signed with MCC to enable commencement of child care centre construction
Early Learning Centre (ELC) opens
Infill building opens
The Pound Cafe opens
Christening of the George Smorgan Infill building foyer
Construction commences of Club Community Sports Hall
Child care centre, named The Susan Alberti Western Bulldogs Community Child Care Centre opens
The Heritage Museum opens
The Culu Community Sports hall opens
The Culu Heritage Wall unveiled
Board Room table made by carpentry and fine furniture students of Victoria University is christened by Elizabeth Harman, Vice Chancellor of VU
The Whitten Oval Redevelopment Project was a massive task and undertaking. David Smorgan coined it ‘The miracle of the west’.
“This project could not have taken place without the vision, leadership and hard work of many many people”
A dedicated acknowledgement page (Link to Donors page) thanks and acknowledges the many individual and collective contirubitions made to the Club.
Club Community Sports Hall – now known as the Victoria University Community Sports Hall
Donations raised from philanthropic trusts and donations, facilitated by the Forever Foundation, enabled the construction of this significant community based asset.
The Foundation would like to acknowledge the significant contribution from the J.T. Reid Trust.
Funded the Susan Alberti Western Bulldogs Community Child Care Centre
Established in 2010, this state of the art Child Care Centre was a key part of the Community hub developed as part of the Whitten Oval redevelopment project.
Susan made a Leadership Contribution that brought this visionary community asset come to being.
“Without the foresight of Susan, this forward thinking initiative simply would not have happened”, said Peter Hudson (Forever Foundation Chairman, 2002-present).
Equipment Replacement Program
The Foundation ran a dedicated fund to which people could donate specifically to support the purchase of new and replacement equipment for use by the playing group.
This fund enabled the Forever Foundation amongst many purchases to equipe the ELC with a fleet of state of the art spin bikes to assist the players in their cardiovascular training and rehabilitation.
“I was approached by a then much younger Robert Murphy who made a passionate plea, with the support of the then Football Manager James Fantasia, for the need of the players to do spin training. I could see how this would help their on field performance and wanted to help”
RWB Network Initiative
The RWB Network was launched on the March 7, 2017 following on from the Club’s Premiership win of the 2016 Season.
RWB is a ‘network of networks’ that brings together captains of industry and leaders of business drawn to the camaraderie captured in the Club’s latin motto ‘Cede Nullus’ – Yield to None.
With some 180 members in the initial year, the RWB initiative has drawn immediate support from a wide and diverse audience of those who want to see the Western Bulldogs as a Club representing the unstoppable rise and rise of the western region of Melbourne thrive into the future. (RWB page LINK)
The Forever Foundation and its directors wish to formally thank and acknowledge those who have contributed to the Foundation, its various projects and therefore the livelihood of our Club.
Recognition is in accordance with the Foundation’s Giving Register Policy. We have two recognition boards:
An Acknowledgement Board (hyperkink) which acknowledges by name those who have given to the Foundation at this point.
A Whitten Oval Recognition and Thank You Register (hyperlink) for those who contributed in various ways to the Whitten Oval redevelopment Phase One.
“With your support, the Forever Foundation can continue to ensure the Western Bulldogs is the great community AFL Club of the West. Today. Tomorrow. And Forever”
Forever Foundation Chairman, Peter Hudson
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