Victorian football celebrates NAIDOC Week

Oak Park and Hillside players pose for a photo in their Indigenous jumpers with umpires before their special NAIDOC Week clash in the EDFL. Photo Jamie Morey.

Victorian football is celebrating National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee Week (NAIDOC Week) from July 3 to 10 with leagues and clubs hosting Indigenous rounds and games in recognition of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. You can support and get to know your local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities through activities and events held across the country. 

The 2022 NAIDOC theme is Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for systemic change and keep rallying around our mob, our Elders, our communities.


Many Victorian clubs have chosen to acknowledge the round by wearing Indigenous jumpers and participate in traditional celebrations such as a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony.

The Eastern Football and Netball League (EFNL) kicked off celebrations with their first ever NAIDOC Round games — a double-header at Mullum Mullum Reserve on July 2.

South Croydon and Eastern Devils Senior Women's played in the first game before the Premier Division clash between Norwood and South Croydon with players from both teams wearing Indigenous jumpers.

The Norwood jumper was designed by one of their current players and former Melbourne and West Coast forward, Jamie Bennell, whilst the South Croydon jumper was designed by Kirby Bentley, a proud Aboriginal Noongar woman, originally from Mt Barker in Western Australia.

The celebrations will continue in the EFNL on Saturday 9 July, with all three of Warrandyte's senior teams set to wear an Indigenous jumper designed by artist Mervyn Street, based off the heritage of Vice-Captain and Bunuba and Gooniyandi man, Nikoda Brooking.

South Croydon and Norwood players line up for a smoking ceremony before their game on July 2

The Essendon District Football League (EDFL) also had multiple clubs involved in NAIDOC Round celebrations across multiple weekends of football.

Hillside, Oak Park, Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park, Airport West and Westmeadows were amongst teams to celebrate NAIDOC Week on July 2 whilst several other EDFL teams will participate in their own celebrations over the next two weekends.


Roxburgh Park and Craigieburn players contest for the ball in their NAIDOC Round clash

The Western Region also celebrated the occasion with the Yarraville Seddon Eagles and Werribee Centrals Senior Women's teams wearing special Indigenous jumpers.

The Yarraville jumper was designed by Mangunk Gjang woman Lorraine Kabbindi White and the artwork incorporates local Yarraville landmarks such as Cruickshank Park and Stony Creek.

Yarraville and Werribee Centrals players embrace before their NAIDOC Round clash

Victorian footy will continue the celebrations throughout the rest of this week and across the weekend with the Northern Football and Netball League, Southern Football and Netball League and the AFL Central Victoria Region amongst others to host NAIDOC Round fixtures.

For more information about NAIDOC Week and how you can participate in celebrations, head to