Wayne Schwass

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Wayne Schwass
Personal information
Date of birth (1968-11-27) 27 November 1968 (age 50)
Place of birth New Zealand
Original team(s) South Warrnambool
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 80 kg (176 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1988–1997 North Melbourne 184 0(97)
1998–2002 Sydney Swans 098 0(57)
Total 282 (154)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2002.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Wayne Schwass (born 27 November 1968) is a former Australian rules football player in the VFL/AFL who debuted in 1988.

He is notable as one of only a few New Zealand-born players of Māori heritage[1] in the history of the VFL/AFL.

Schwass moved from New Zealand at the age of 10 to Warrnambool in Victoria, Australia area where he began playing Australian Rules before being recruited by VFL club Kangaroos.

"Swatta" was a champion wingman, known for his blistering pace and courage who played in the Kangaroos' 1996 premiership side before becoming a leader in the Sydney Swans side.

In 2006, Schwass announced that he had suffered from depression during his successful AFL career. In 2006, Schwass set up The Sunrise Foundation to help other athletes who suffer from depression.[2] On December 13, 2017, Schwass posted on Twitter an image of himself celebrating when receiving his 1996 premiership medallion with the caption "this is what suicidal looks like". He goes on to describe his smile as "fake" and his feelings of isolation in what was the highlight of his career.[3]

In 2012, Schwass was a player-coach for the New Zealand representative AFL side, the NZ Hawks, against the Australian AIS-AFL Academy team.[4] He has long been a great supporter and ambassador for the game in New Zealand which has had several AFL and a large number of Australian State league players play in the past five years.

Schwass is now founder and CEO of PukaUp, a social enterprise who state their vision is "to create the environments for every person to have authentic and genuine conversations about mental health and emotional wellbeing.” [5] A regular on the public speaking circuit, Schwass also hosts the PukaUp Podcast with PodcastONE. Schwass is still involved with AFL, as a commentator for Triple M on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.


  1. ^ Māori overseas – Retaining Māori culture in Australia – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand
  2. ^ "Men in Blue". The Bulletin. 7 June 2007. Archived from the original on 14 October 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ WATERWORTH, BEN (14 December 2017). "Wayne Schwass opens up on most difficult period of his life in powerful social media post". FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA. Fox Sports. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  4. ^ De Kretser, Chris (31 January 2013). "Wayne Schwass helps New Zealand against AIS-AFL Academy team in Wellington". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/afl/more-news/wayne-schwass-driving-mental-health-awareness-in-society-through-professional-sport/news-story/d6d3d6b28308b39fa962a3d4c0be8c15

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