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Aboriginal Australian rules footballer, Richie Bray (circa 1938 – 2017), was in a group home as a child.

A member of the Stolen Generations, Richie Bray lived in St Francis House with Charlie Perkins and Gordon Briscoe.

St Francis House at Semaphore in South Australia was established in 1946 by Anglican priest, Father Percy Smith, on behalf of the Australia Board of Missions. Originally Glanville Hall, the building was originally the family home of John Hart, a South Australian premier.

Aboriginal boys living at St Francis attended local schools. Glowing reports of the education provided to these boys are offset by reports of the home having serious structural problems and there being little supervision of the boys by staff.

Richie Bray played seventy-seven games for Port Adelaide in the South Australian Football League (SANFL) between 1959 and 1966. He kicked sixty-five goals during that time and played in three winning premiership goals.

Being linked with racism is painful for any club, but the hurt is particularly deep at Port Adelaide, a club with a rich and celebrated history of Indigenous players and supporters.

Like its unique black and white prison bars guernsey, the club has long found strength in black and white being side by side, both on and off the field. The first Indigenous player to wear the jumper during a premiership celebration was Richie Bray. The explosive wingman helped his Magpie teammates win premierships in 1962, 63 and 65 (Founten).


Briscoe, Gordon. Racial folly: a twentieth-century aboriginal family. Canberra: ANUE Press, 2010

Founten, Loukas. “Port Adelaide’s pain at being linked with racism after long and proud Indigenous history.” ABC News, 23 August 2016. Available here

Say, Steph. “Vale Richie Bray.”  Port Adelaide Football Club, 2017. Available here

“St Francis House (1946 – 1961).” Find & Connect, 2020.

Image available here