Footy giants reunite for workplace health and safety

Football great Leon Cameron will make a special appearance in his home town of Warrnambool this weekend for the next round of WorkSafe's Country Club Program.


Returning for a 21st season, WorkSafe's sponsorship of country footy and netball helps promote workplace safety in regional areas while giving back to local communities with a week of activities and recognition of long-serving club volunteers.

Cameron will join his former top draft pick, and premiership star, Tom Boyd, on Saturday for the WorkSafe Country Club Game between North Warrnambool and South Warrnambool at Bushfield Recreation Reserve.

Boyd, a passionate mental health advocate and WorkSafe ambassador, will also train with North Warrnambool's senior players and take part in a Q&A with WorkSafe inspectors at a club function tomorrow night.

That follows a WorkSafe Mental Health and Wellbeing workshop held yesterday, where football and netball players from the club were able to openly talk about mental health issues and explore healthy coping mechanisms.

The workshop encourages locals to check in with each other, support each other and stay connected both on and off the field.

WorkSafe Chief Executive Officer Colin Radford will join Cameron and Boyd at Saturday's game and said the program was a great way to connect with local communities, given the integral role weekend sport played in country life.

"We want to see that sense of comradery and care shown down at local clubs extended to the workplace," Mr Radford said.

"When our workers are able to come home safe at the end of each day, we'll see them out on the field and on the court or in the clubrooms doing what they love."

Former Australian netball coach, Norma Plummer AM, will also be participating in activities throughout the day.

Spectators at the game will be invited to sit down for a cuppa as part of WorkSafe's Safe-Tea Break initiative, which encourages farmers to take regular breaks on the job.

Mr Radford said a large part of staying safe at work in regional communities was staying safe on farms.

"Farmers are a hard-working bunch, but no one is immune to the effects of fatigue," he said.

"When you're working big hours with big animals and big machines, taking a break is just as important as it is on the footy field or the netball court."

North Warrnambool is among six local clubs across Victoria to host WorkSafe’s Country Club Program in 2022, with games still to come at South Colac, King Valley, Karingal and Stawell.

This week’s Country Club Game coincides with a visit to Warrnambool by the WorkSafe Board and Executive Leadership Team to discuss workplace health and safety issues and to listen to local concerns.