‘Courageous, personable and charismatic’ are the words Chelsea Frawley uses to describe her late father.
Danny Frawley would do anything to help someone going through a hard time. That’s just the type of person he was.
At 56, Danny sadly lost his life in a single car crash near Ballarat.
Danny, affectionately known to many as ‘Spud’, had spoken publicly about mental health in the years leading up to the crash, and about men’s mental health in particular.
So, it’s fitting that his legacy will be immortalised through the Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing.
The Centre was built in Danny’s honour at St Kilda Football’s base, RSEA Park in the south-eastern suburb of Moorabbin, on the land of the Boon Wurrung People of the Kulin Nation.
“I think that if he could see this, he’d just be so chuffed and proud that this is the thing that he has his name attached to,” Chelsea said.
“I know that he was always sad about not winning a premiership, but I think this would trump everything, knowing his name would continue having an impact into the future.
“I feel really sad that he’s not here to see the impact he’s had. But then that sadness is also accompanied with pride.”
The centre will house physical and mental health facilities, including rehabilitation and recovery programs. It offers a range of mental health programs for former and current St Kilda Football Club members, as well as the broader community, to navigate their way through tough conversations.
Physical programs include swimming classes, recreational swimming, group fitness classes and hydrotherapy services.
“He was quite vulnerable in being able to share his struggles and issues, in the hope that it would help others share theirs,” Chelsea said.
“When he was captain at the Saints in the 80s, he was always the first person to reach out to any of the players when he noticed that they were down.
“He would always make sure that they were having a positive experience at the club.”
Danny touched the lives of many people by speaking publicly about his mental health battles.
“When new players joined the club, he made them feel comfortable and like they had a place here,” she added.
“Within his friendship groups, he was always the first person to pick up the phone – kind of like the port of call for people to have those conversations.”
Throughout his lifetime, Danny played 240 games with the Saints, and then went on to become a coach and commentator.
He dreamt of one day creating a place of belonging for anyone who steps foot through its doors.
The Danny Frawley Centre is a place for past and present St Kilda Football Club members, and the broader community, to visit and connect.
“He saw a really big gap in this space,” Chelsea said.
“He wanted a space for players to come to and not feel like their whole life has changed from footy.
“That’s what the Danny Frawley Centre is – past players come to connect back into what was a massive part of their lives.”
The Victorian Government provided $7.3 million towards the creation of the Danny Frawley Centre, St Kilda Football Club’s home base.