Published on May 20, 2019 10:03 am

Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Media

2019 Toyota AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Round

The AFL’s annual round recognising and celebrating Indigenous players and culture, named in honour of Sir Doug Nicholls, kicks off in Round 10 of the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

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Sir Doug, who epitomised the spirit of reconciliation, was a brilliant athlete. He was the first Aboriginal person to be knighted, served as Governor of South Australia and was devoted to the well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The 2019 Toyota AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Round will be celebrated across rounds 10 and 11 of the Toyota AFL Premiership Season, beginning with the Marngrook match between Sydney and Collingwood at the SCG, followed by the annual Dreamtime at the G match between Essendon and Richmond on Saturday night.

This year, the Round will pay tribute to the contribution of Essendon champion and Australian Football Hall of Fame member Michael Long.

In honour of the Round, all 18 clubs will wear special Indigenous-themed guernseys and the AFL umpires will also wear uniforms that represent the Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities with the artwork designed by two students from Worawa Aboriginal College.

The artwork that includes a turtle and black whip snake designs will be unveiled at the Worawa Aboriginal College Art Gallery at the school’s annual Reconciliation Sports Carnival on Tuesday 21 May to which members of the media are invited to observe.

Rose Archie is a 17 year-old student from Bulla in the Northern Territory who came to Worawa AC three years ago. Rose is in the school’s Year 11 VCAL program, loves being on the Worawa Ranger Program and is a brilliant artist who is doing her work placement at a graphic design studio in Healesville.  Rose’s artwork was inspired by her story. One day Rose and her sister Keziah, mother of 5 year old Matthias, were out fishing and Rose saw a black whip snake.  Her sister Keziah said that it was Matthias’ totem that now also is represented in her detailed piece of aboriginal artwork.

The turtle was painted by a former student Zephaniah Neil,  who was inspired by the frequent sighting of turtles and this artwork represents the Torres Strait Island communities.

The Round is held before the official National Reconciliation Week from May 27 to June 3. The week is a time for all Australians to learn about shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each person can contribute to achieving Reconciliation throughout Australia.

In celebration of National Reconciliation Week, the Worawa Aboriginal College’s Reconciliation Sports Carnival will be celebrated with  a range of activities and displays including football and netball inter-school games, cultural and social exchanges between all participants.

This special event will feature a traditional Smoking Ceremony, a football competition, guest appearances, the Umpire AFL Academy, traditional Indigenous games, local country music band Ruckus and much more.

One of the features of the day will be a series of all-female AFL football games umpired by a female umpiring panel that will include members of the College’s Umpire AFL Academy.

The day brings together 19 visiting schools in the true spirit of Reconciliation.

A day of enormous celebration, the Worawa Aboriginal College Reconciliation Sports Carnival is set to be an exciting celebration of Australian history – one with which the AFL has a proud involvement.

  • CLICK HERE to view the 2019 Reconciliation Sports Carnival Flyer…
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