Brain trust: League legend Lewis to address Press Club about concussion funding

Rugby league legend Wally Lewis is set to make an impassioned plea for further funding into concussion and traumatic brain injuries research ahead of the federal budget.

Apr 23, 2024, updated Apr 23, 2024
Wally Lewis on will address the National Press Club today. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Wally Lewis on will address the National Press Club today. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

The Queensland great will use an address at the National Press Club on Tuesday to open up about his experience with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

Ahead of the May federal budget, the Concussion and CTE Coalition – made up of advocacy bodies such as Dementia Australia – have called for $18 million in funding from the government.

The coalition called for the funds to be used to help fund a pilot program to help support people living with CTE and their families, along with community awareness and prevention programs.

The group had also urged for more research to help identify the strong casual link between those who have had repeated traumatic brain injuries, such as concussion, and developing CTE later in life.

Lewis revealed in 2023 he had been diagnosed with CTE, following concerns about his memory after repeated concussions during his sporting career.

The former Maroons captain was in Canberra in February as part of a delegation urging for greater funding from the federal government for CTE research.

Lewis will also be joined at the National Press Club address by Collingwood premiership player Nathan Murphy, who announced his retirement from the sport earlier in April following multiple concussions.

Murphy, 24, retired from AFL after advice from the code’s medical concussion panel.

He played his last match at the 2023 grand final, where he was taken off the field after the first quarter due to concussion.

CTE is the only preventable form of dementia, with estimates that several thousand people are affected by the condition.

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