David Schwarz – All Bets are Off

As part of the Wellbeing Program, we cover issues which are age appropriate and can potentially have a significant impact on a young person’s life – both positive and negative. Gambling is one such issue. Unfortunately, we live in a world where young people are bombarded with gambling advertising, from television commercials, advertising at sporting games and through mobile phone networks and social media applications, just to name a few. With the burgeoning growth of mobile technology, betting apps are a powerful lure for young people and betting agencies are developing new and clever ways to hook people into gambling.

Our Year 11s were lucky to have David Schwarz come to speak to them about the issue of gambling. Schwarz played 173 games for the Melbourne Football Club and won the club’s best and fairest in 1999. Unfortunately, his career was significantly interrupted by 3 knee reconstructions and at the end of his career, he was faced with the reality that he was a gambling addict. He was crippled by debt, being chased by the banks and by the bookies.

Schwarz spoke about his experience with gambling addiction and the impact it had on his life and those close to him. He also incorporated a number of messages for the boys throughout his presentation:

  • Be aware of the situations and people who put you in a position to gamble
  • Support friends and look out for them
  • Talk to friends and keep lines of communication open
  • The importance of education – in terms of gambling and in also, education in general

Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students