Clubs and competitions across Victoria will celebrate the inaugural Indigenous Round between July 12 and 15.
Round 21 coincides Indigenous Round with NAIDOC Week 2019 (7-14 July). NAIDOC Week serves as a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This week is celebrated not only by our First Nations People, but also by Australians from all walks of life.
Each year NAIDOC Week has a theme with this year being Voice, Treaty, Truth. These are key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart which represent the unified position of First Nations Australians.
Football Victoria’s Indigenous Round is highlighted by bespoke new artwork by Stan Yarramunua. The story behind the art is the white representing the milky way, and the two rings separating the white and brown dots representing both males and females. The brown dots signify the community, the inner circles represent land with the blue characterising waters.
Football Victoria CEO Peter Filopoulos said: “Having Indigenous Round during NAIDOC Week is a fantastic opportunity for all our clubs across Victoria to learn more about this country’s ancient heritage and Australian and Torres Strait Islander people more broadly.
“Celebrating it through football also allows us to recognise past, future and present Indigenous Australians who live, love and play the world game.”
Football Victoria’s Indigenous Programs Co-ordinator, A-League, youth international and now Hume City player James Brown, said he encouraged all clubs to participate in this historic round.
“This week is ideal for the footballing community to participate in, support and pay respect to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, culture and land on which we play our beloved sport,” Mr Brown, an indigenous Australian said.
He said participating clubs would mark the occasion through several methods including:
- A pre-game Acknowledgement of Country (find words here:) https://ftbl.vc/2XzKxIG
- A photo of teams and match officials together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags; and
- A sharing of Indigenous Round content on club’s social media platforms and websites (See bottom of article for download links)
Victorian and Australian football has a strong indigenous heritage starting with Harry Williams, recognised as Australia’s first Indigenous Socceroo. Williams played 13 times for Australia and was a member of the famous 1974 Australian World Cup squad – the first Socceroos team to make the World Cup finals.
The passion continues today across all parts of the game. For example, FC Birrarung’s playing and training tops were designed by 16-year-old Wurundjeri artist Ky-ya Nicholson Ward. The designs depict stories of the waterways of Melbourne after which “Birrarung” (The River of Mists) is named.
Along with FC Birrarung, two other clubs have taken the initiative with Beaumaris SC to host an Indigenous Day on September 7 with the men's senior team playing in an Indigenous designed playing kit as well as the club hosting a number of other activities for the day.
Furthermore, Eaglehawk FC played host to Strathdale SC on July 6 for their Indigenous Round with the home team playing in shirts designed by members of the local Dja Dja Wurrang clan. Prior to the match, official ceremonies including Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony were held and post-match, an inaugural NAIDOC Week gift was presented with a presentation to the winning team and best on ground, with an official function held to complete the evening.
Clubs are encouraged to share any Indigenous Round content to their various platforms by using #FVIndigenousRound. They can also find a series of Indigenous Round graphics to download here: