While some punters and followers of the great Aussie game can say the Western Bulldogs took 60 years to deliver the impossible dream to the area, people who live and work in Melbourne’s west have been living the dream for some time now. The doggies’ win was just the icing on the cake.
When the Western Bulldogs took home the big prize in the form of the 2016 AFL premiership, in many ways, their story towards success is much like that of Melbourne’s West. We’ve been a proud member of the community for over 90 years, and in that time we’ve seen the area evolve into a culturally diverse, innovative and inclusive place to live and work. With major infrastructure projects like $4.3 billion regional rail link and $2.5 billion Western Ring Road upgrade underway, Melbourne’s West has become a symbol of opportunity with affordable housing, a great lifestyle and plenty of great recreational options.
More though, than the magic of the greatest win of recent times, is the spirit of the west, epitomised by the perception of a battling club striving for success without the wealthy resources of other clubs but driven by local pride, a sense of community and wanting to give back to the locals who have stood by them in the difficult times believing a future premiership was never far way from grasp.
At Sunshine Groupe, we have greatly admired the leadership style and character of the coach Luke Beveridge, who was responsible for one of the greatest moments in our sporting history, when he humbly placed his premiership medal around the neck of the injured captain, Bob Murphy. That moment, along with the footy win of the century that preceded it, was a pinnacle moment of community success and joy for those of us who live and work in the west. It brought out the best in our community. Made us proud. Made us walk tall.
And we’re still walking tall, and will continue to do so long after the dust has settled on the premiership glory of 2016. It’s a story about Melbourne’s West, and we’ll cherish and continue to share it for years to come.