Junior footballers to shine in Indigenous jumpers
In acknowledgement and celebration of NAIDOC week, the St Mary’s Greensborough Junior Football Club will be a dazzling sight in Yarra Junior Football League matches this weekend with all 400 of its footballers to run out in custom-designed Indigenous jumpers.
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The National NAIDOC Theme for 2021 is 'Heal Country!'.
President of St Mary's Greensborough JFC, Dean Arnel, said the club is proud to celebrate our Indigenous culture by wearing the custom jumpers.
“It will be a special day, and aligns with our values of respect, inclusiveness, and providing an enriching environment for our families,” Arnel said.
“It forms part of a number of things we will be doing during the week to acknowledge the contribution that has been made to the local area and to football from the Indigenous community.”
The St Mary’s Greensborough Indigenous jumpers have been designed by Under 15s player Taj Fazekas and his mum Shelley Ware in collaboration with Taungurung Elder and Artist, Mick Harding.
A feature of the design is the Plenty River (Kurrum) that separates the clubs two home grounds.
Shelley, a well-known media personality and Indigenous Ambassador has long had a desire to have the club wear Indigenous jumpers.
“So proud to have all of the players running out in an Aboriginal jumper,” she said.
“The feedback from players has been one of pride and excitement — we hope this weekend will be as special for everyone, as it will be for my family and the other Aboriginal families of St Mary's.”
The junior club is proud to have several young Indigenous players, including (featured in the photo) Taitem and Reo Heta (Wiradjuri), Nate Moloney (Nunga) and Taj Fazekas (Yankunytjatjara and Wirangu).
About NAIDOC Week and the 'Heal Country!' theme
Heal Country! – calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
NAIDOC Week is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a fantastic opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
NAIDOC week celebrations are underway and will be held from 4 - 11 July.
More about NAIDOC Week can be found at: https://www.naidoc.org.au/.