Commonwealth Point of Light 45. John van Bockxmeer
John van Bockxmeer, representing Australia, is an Emergency Department doctor who founded ‘Fair Game,’ an organisation that delivers fitness activities and recycled sports equipment to people living in remote communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
John was inspired to set up the charity after seeing Aboriginal children in the remote Pilbara region playing football with a tin can. Since establishing ‘Fair Game’ in 2010, the charity has donated over 25,000 items of recycled sports equipment to urban and remote communities. The charity builds community capacity through mentoring and leadership programs and has established a nation-wide network of over 200 skilled, culturally aware volunteer ‘Fair Gamers’. John continues to lead the organisation which is regarded as a leading change agent in preventing communicable disease and lifestyle-related illnesses.
John van Bockxmeer said:
“It is a great honour to be named as Australia’s Points of Light recipient on behalf of my team of volunteer Fair Gamers who work tirelessly towards our vision of a fit and healthy Australia. Inequality is a difference between two people that is systemic, unfair and preventable. Healthy lifestyle choices are crucial to improving quality of life and it is a tragedy that Australians living in remote and rural areas do not have equal access to or education surrounding these. ‘Fair Game’ enables long-term change by donating recycled sports equipment and harnessing the passion of local young people. I dream of a world where my job as a doctor is seldom needed and I will keep working with a positive, tenacious, solutions-focused attitude to achieve this.”
Menna Rawlings CMG, UK High Commissioner to Australia, said:
“I am delighted that Dr John van Bockxmeer has been selected as Australia’s Point of Light. John’s tremendous work and dedication to improving the health of all Australians is truly inspiring. It’s especially fitting that John is being recognised now, as the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gets underway; his work through ‘Fair Game Australia’ highlights the power of sport at a community level.”
Watch John’s response to receiving his Points of Light award:
Watch John and ‘Fair Gamers’ talk about their work to improve the health of young people in remote communities across Australia: