The Boy from Birdum

Bill Dempsey, Steve Hawke

The Boy from Birdum
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The Boy from Birdum

Bill Dempsey, Steve Hawke

Bill Dempsey is a humble achiever. He is known primarily as a champion footballer with West Perth and the Darwin Buffaloes. A premiership captain who played over 400 games in 20 seasons in Perth and the Northern Territory, and a member of the AFL’s Indigenous Team of the Century, his record and his achievements compare with the very best. He is revered as a true legend at West Perth.

Bill has led a remarkable life. Born in the shadow of Japanese bombing raids in 1942. Forcibly removed from his mother after the death of his father and baby sister, he was a stolen child who never lost contact with his family and found a second family amongst his fellow inmates at the Retta Dixon Home. Brought to Perth at the age of seventeen as a ‘spare wheel’ to his mate Jim Anderson, he stayed on to become a football champion and a trailblazer as an Aboriginal entrepreneur throughout the 80s.

In The Boy from Birdum, Bill tells his story frankly, courageously, and with the charismatic flair of a natural-born yarn spinner. 

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