AFL Legend Ron Barassi's Legacy at Burgmann College

Burgmann College was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ron Barassi AM on 16 September 2023 at the age of 87. He was closely associated with the College since its establishment in 1971. 

Barassi has been an important part of Burgmann College since its inception, with one of the two residential wings proudly bearing his name. The first Master of Burgmann College, Dr David Griffin, wrote in the book The Place to Be, “In the College’s first year, it so happened that more students in one wing were of a studious disposition whereas more in the other were sports addicts—or so it was said. Hence ‘Homer’ and ‘Barassi’.” 

Ron Barassi had a remarkable career that included being a two-time premiership coach for Carlton and a six-time premiership player for Melbourne, including two as captain. He was also the first player to be inaugurated into the Australian Football Hall of Fame as a Legend. 

As sporting legends go, the Burg ressies could not have picked someone more deserving, given that the College opened just a few short months after the 1970 VFL Grand Final, where a split-second decision at half-time by coach Barassi led Carlton to victory. 

However, the naming of the residential wings goes beyond a simple delineation between sports enthusiasts and those passionate about the arts. It speaks to the core ethos of Burgmann College and the great man himself—an emphasis on the vital harmony between sports, culture and life itself in the College community. 

Burgmann borrowed the Barassi name for thirty years until 2001, when the College held official naming ceremonies for both the Homer and Barassi wings. Ron was kind enough to attend the Barassi naming ceremony, unveil the plaque and say some words about the importance of sport on the overall development of young people, bringing his trademark motivation, determination and wit to the occasion. 

In August 2014, the Burgmann Alumni Association made Ron an Honorary Alumnus when College resident and AFL Captain Jacob Almond joined former Principal Dr Philip Dutton in Melbourne and presented him with his alumni credentials and a College AFL guernsey carrying his famous number 31. 

Ron Barassi’s legacy will live on at Burgmann College, inspiring generations of residents with his exceptional achievements both on and off the field.



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