Two-minute Statement

3 July 2024

I want to park politics and talk about another topic that’s very close to my heart—the mighty Collingwood Football Club. And it’s so good to do it in front of a couple of Carlton supporters sitting in the advisers’ box, too.

I won’t mention last year’s premiership heroics. Instead, it’s time to acknowledge someone who brought joy to all in the Magpie Army over his 258-game career in the number 36 jumper. I’m talking about the 2010 premiership star and 2011 Brownlow medallist, the one and only Dane Swan.

A few weeks ago, ‘Swanny’ was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame, the most prestigious recognition there is, joining fellow inductees and legends in this illustrious group.

He was always one of my favourite players, so much so that in my office here in Canberra, sitting on top of my cabinet, is a very large bean tree sculpture modelled on Swanny himself. The sculpture doesn’t have the most chiselled physique, but that was just Swanny, and that was what we loved about him.

His laid-back demeanour was a trademark of his career glittering career, but this trait was in no way a reflection of his attitude to the team and what playing for the Pies meant to him.

With his distinctive tattoos, there was no better sight than seeing Swanny burst into goal with his unique running style, often described as a duck-like waddle. His brute strength and footy smarts made him a very difficult player to match up on. He was just as quick off the field with his sharp one-liners.

Congratulations, Swanny. Thanks for playing the game your way and bringing us a lot of joy. Go, Pies!