Doug Hawkins is a sporting legend of Melbourne’s west. He played 350 games of AFL/VFL, mainly with his beloved Bulldogs. He was captain for four years and donned the Victorian jumper five times. He was twice All-Australian and was admitted to the AFL Hall of Fame. He is much loved, particularly for his hilarious television appearances.
“Growing up in Braybrook was fantastic for me.
Obviously football was a big part of it. Braybrook had a very successful team, we won a lot of premierships.
I wanted to play professional football and Ted Whitten was my role model. He played at Braybrook and I thought if he could do it then why not me? We had four players from Braybrook in the Bulldogs team of the century and I don’t think any other junior footy club in Australia could match that.
With my Mum, my sister and my step-father we moved around a bit. We went from a caravan park to a bungalow. Then we got the housing commission flat at South Road. It was a two bedroom flat upstairs, so that was pretty good.
I remember always being out with me mates, always very active. Playing football and cricket on the street.
Being a Braybrook boy taught me to stand up and be counted. But you couldn’t take yourself too seriously or be scared to laugh at yourself. Mainly I learned to treat people with respect.
It kept you honest. What wasn’t yours could become yours pretty quickly.
My message to young people who live in public housing today is to back themselves. Don’t listen to all the negative stuff that you can’t do something, because that’s what we got and it was rubbish. It doesn’t have to be about sport, it can be about anything. Set your goal and believe in yourself.”