Pies take major step in probe into Lumumba’s claims

Collingwood has appointed Indigenous Professor Larissa Behrendt AO to head an independent review into the club’s culture after Heritier Lumumba’s claims.

The review will see a deep dive into the environment at Collingwood during Lumumba’s tenure at the club between 2005 and 2014 after the 2010 premiership star’s accounts of rampant racism.

Professor Behrendt’s findings will be delivered to Collingwood’s Integrity Committee which will consist of club directors Jodie Sizer and Peter Murphy as well as CEO Mark Anderson.

“It has become increasingly clear that in Heritier’s time we were unable to understand his experience; see and hear what he saw and heard. This lack of cultural safety that he and others have recently spoken of is a matter of great concern,” Murphy said in a club statement on Sunday afternoon.

Heritier Lumumba at Collingwood during his final season there before his trade to Melbourne in 2014 (Pat Scala)

“We are seeking to understand these experiences of racism and to ensure they have no place in the current Collingwood environment.

“We anticipate that Larissa Behrendt’s work will result in a full and frank account of these experiences and produce a road-map to inform Collingwood’s future.”

Professor Behrendt is a member of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law. She chaired the federal government’s major review into Indigenous higher education in 2011.

“We want to listen, learn and act. We must look at this as an opportunity to evolve,
Jodie Sizer added in the Collingwood statement.

“I am certain that Larissa and her team will help us grasp this opportunity and allow Collingwood to further develop as a culturally safe environment in which difference and diversity is celebrated.”

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