The Boy from Birdum An interview with Bill Dempsey


Booking required
Free event


State Library Theatre - Ground Floor

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Ally Friendly

To celebrate Family History Month, the State Library of Western Australia is pleased to welcome Bill Dempsey, newly inducted to the Australian Football Hall of Fame, to talk about his Aboriginal, Irish, German and Russian ancestry as well as his amazing football career in Western Australia. Bill played 343 games for West Perth and is an inspiration to so many people. Come and hear Bill being interviewed by Steve Hawke, his collaborator on his autobiography The Boy from Birdum.

Bill Dempsey was born in Birdum in the Northern Territory in 1942. He was taken away from his family at an early age as part of the stolen generation. A determined young man, he started playing for the Buffaloes Football Club in Darwin and was then recruited by West Perth in the West Australian Football League, when football was still separated between the famed Melbourne-based VFL and our own WAFL. Bill was a champion ruckman for West Perth playing 343 games and winning 3 premierships. He was named Simpson Medallist in 1969 for being the best player on ground in the Grand Final win over East Perth. Last year Bill published his autobiography The Boy from Birdum in collaboration with Steve Hawke. In 2022 Bill Dempsey was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing on the night.

Come and join us to hear from one of WA’s true champions - Bill Dempsey.

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This page last updated on 27 July 2022