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Eddie McGuire & Magpie Nest

Channel Nine TV presenter, businessman and president of AFL team Collingwood Football Club, Eddie McGuire is known for his fervent love of Aussie Rules and, in particular, for his beloved team, as well as, occasionally, putting his foot in his mouth.

What he’s not so well known for, however, is his close relationship with The Salvation Army.

Eddie McGuire and Magpie Nest

Sunday 11 September, on the ABC’s cultural and spiritual documentary series Compass*, McGuire opens up to veteran journalist Geraldine Doogue about growing up in Melbourne’s working-class northern suburb of Broadmeadows, his life-changing introduction to the Collingwood Football Club and his ongoing friendship with Salvation Army officer Major Brendan Nottle.

Major Nottle met McGuire in 1999 at the footy. Like McGuire, Major Nottle is a fervent Collingwood supporter and he went on to become the team’s chaplain.

‘I know he’s full-on and all that stuff, but I genuinely like him,’ Major Nottle told Melbourne’s Herald Sun

‘I feel like he’s got my back in a vocation that can be pretty full-on at times. And the thing I really like is his passion for a fair go. He is inspired by the Collingwood Football Club looking out for people during the Great Depression back in the 1930s. He has a strong sense of social justice.’

In 2012, Major Nottle, who runs Melbourne 614, an outreach centre in Melbourne’s CBD, was becoming increasingly concerned about the number of women who were becoming homeless due to domestic violence. He shared his concerns with McGuire.

McGuire listened intently. The result of that interaction was Magpie Nest Housing.

Run in partnership with The Salvation Army, the social program runs 35 houses across Melbourne and accommodates around 120 people who’d otherwise be sleeping rough or in squalid rooming houses. Holistic in its approach, the program looks at the bigger picture regarding homelessness and employs case workers, psychologists lawyers and addiction workers.

It’s not just about the club being a benevolent benefactor, either. McGuire encourages the players to get involved with Salvo work, too.


Read more here

Download the interview here