SPECIAL ARTICLE | League celebrates Indigenous culture at all matches


THE Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL joins forces once again with Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation to mark Indigenous Round this Saturday.

The day is aimed at recognising and celebrating the culture of the First Nations people.

“Sport is a great way to come together in the spirit of reconciliation – to reflect on our shared history and celebrate our shared love of football and netball,” said Dja Dja Wurrung Group CEO Rodney Carter.

“It’s always good to see people come out to support this important event.”

Indigenous Round for the Bendigo FNL is being held in National Reconciliation Week and follows the Sir Doug Nicholls Round being played across the AFL the previous two weekend.

Feature match in round seven of the BFNL season is Eaglehawk against Kyneton at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park.

The lead-up to the match between the Hawks and Tigers will feature Welcome to Country, and a smoking ceremony.

The senior teams for Eaglehawk and Kyneton will be playing for the Wirama Shield in football and netball, and there will be medals for best on field and court.

All BFNL clubs will compete in the custom designed football jumpers and netball uniforms which were created by local artists in 2014.

Each jumper and uniform tells a story specific to the historic region of the club.

Indigenous Round matches will be at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park; Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve; Strathfieldsaye’s Triple M Park; Maryborough’s Princes Park; and Gisborne’s Gardiner Reserve.

Bendigo Football Netball League manager Cameron Tomlins said Indigenous Round was a key part of the season’s fixture.

“We are once again thrilled to partner with the people of DJAARA to present the BFNL Indigenous Round, which is a significant annual event for the league,” Tomlins said.

“A major goal of the round is to educate, and recognise the living Aboriginal culture of the traditional owners, the Dja Dja Wurrung, and their care for djandak (country) across thousands of years.”

The theme for this year’s National Reconciliation Week is “Be a Voice for Generations”.

The theme encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work, and socialise.

The AFL’s Indigenous Team of the Century features some of the game’s greatest.

Among those in the team are Geelong ruckman Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer; Brownlow medallists Gavin Wanganeen and Adam Goodes; St Kilda’s Nicky Winmar; and Norm Smith medallists Maurice Rioli from Richmond, and Essendon’s Michael Long.