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Celebrating Reconciliation Week with Indigenous Sporting Rounds

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Aboriginal man in red football jumper decorated with traditional designs stands at right. At top left is a logo and the letters: ISC. Below are the words: The official 2019 Dreamtime Guernsey.
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (Photo courtesy of the Essendon Football Club)
24 May 2019

To mark Reconciliation Week, Australian sporting teams celebrate Indigenous culture and players by holding their Indigenous rounds.

In the Australian Football League (AFL), the Indigenous Round, also known as the Sir Doug Nicholls Round, is held in Week 10 of the season (24 – 26 May 2019). It celebrates and recognises the cultural contribution that Indigenous players, officials and fans make to the game.

Specifically designed team jumpers are created for the rounds featuring Indigenous art representing the stories and culture of Indigenous groups around Australia.

Find out more about each clubs’ 2019 Guernsey on the AFL website.

The marquee match of the Sir Doug Nicholls round is ‘Dreamtime at the G’, a game between Essendon and Richmond played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday night. This annual fixture began in 2005, with Richmond enjoying 8 wins to Essendon’s 6.

The match is preceded by The Long Walk, an event named after Essendon champion, Michael Long, who in 2004 walked from Melbourne to Canberra to highlight the need to put Indigenous issues back on the national agenda.

Federation Square will host The Long Walk celebrations with a variety of sporting and cultural activities. At approximately 5:30pm supporters will walk to the MCG.

The National Rugby League (NRL) Indigenous Round takes place in Week 11(23 – 26 May 2019) in the lead up to Reconciliation Week. The NRL makes special mention of their Indigenous Round supporting the leagues’ commitment to greater promotion and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the game.

See what NRL players will be wearing this round, and the meanings behind the designs on the NRL website.

Last year, the Super Netball league also introduced an Indigenous Round in Week 8 (15 – 16 June) to highlight the role that Indigenous women play in the advancement of the sport.

While the Super Rugby do not have a code-wide Indigenous Round, individual teams are showing their support for Reconciliation Week, by wearing specially designed jerseys.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) runs annually from 27 May – 3 June, with the 2019 Theme ‘Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage’.

Find out more

For more information, visit Reconciliation Australia.

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