ALBURY ruckman Dean Heta wants the Ovens and Murray football-netball league to stage an Indigenous round.
The Wiradjuri man believes such an event would be a boost for the competition and beyond.
"I'd love it, it would be huge for the league and huge for the community and I'm working with Albury on that and I hope the O&M could piggyback off there," Mr Heta said.
"It would be something for the community to get involved in and excited about, you only have to look at the AFL to see how good it could be."
Mr Heta floated his idea during an interview for National Reconciliation Week.
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He believes while the football world has improved since he was called Vegemite by on-field opponents as a teenager there's still more that could be done "to create a culturally safe environment for people to participate in".
Steeped in Indigenous history from his grandmother Nancy Rooke and mother Liz Heta, the university graduate taps on that knowledge in his working life.
Mr Heta recently began working for Melbourne Water and is developing a new reconciliation action plan for the organisation.
He replaced Olympic gold medallist Nova Peris as the principal advisor Aboriginal engagement for the water wholesaler.
It is a long way from 2004 when he finished year 12 at Wodonga High School.
"When I completed year 12 there was only two Aboriginal students across Albury-Wodonga who finished," Mr Heta said.
"We were probably labelled as 'too hard' and it was try and get them out of the school and the best thing you can do is try and push them into a job."
Mr Heta initially worked in the coolroom at Wodonga's meatworks before completing his health sciences degree at Charles Sturt University Wagga.
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