THIS weekend is the WAFLW Indigenous Round plus the start of the 2022 National Reconciliation Week.
What is Reconciliation? Reconciliation to me is about strengthening relationships between my people and non-Indigenous peoples. We do this by sharing our knowledge and culture. I believe if everyone shared their knowledge and culture it would create a greater understanding and respect for one another.
The 2022 theme for National Reconciliation Week, “Be Brave, Make Change” is a strong message. We all need to be brave sometimes by having those hard conversations to make change.
The WA Football Commission has just launched their Reconciliation Action Plan 2nd “INNOVATE” and I am really excited about the future of WA Footy. We have an amazing Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group who will be the drivers within their particular team. All WAFC staff are very supportive of this journey. We also receive guidance from our Indigenous Strategy Committee and I would like to mention our Aboriginal and Inclusion Leader Phil Narkle who is leading the way for us. We are ready to “Make Change”.
Our WAFLW Indigenous Round kicks off on Saturday 28 May and with the support of Rio Tinto, our WA Football Indigenous Programs Partner, all WAFLW League and Rogers Cup teams will be wearing Indigenous jumpers throughout this round.
Every year I look forward to Indigenous Round as it is a time to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution and impact made by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, umpires, staff, and volunteers in this great game of ours.
I was excited to be asked to create this year’s artwork for the umpire’s shirt and the WAFLW game day ball. I am honoured to have my artwork on display as it tells my family stories that have been handed down to me by my ancestors and I am pleased to be able to share my stories with everyone.
The story behind the umpire's shirt is about our Noongar Six Seasons, the Noongar calendar consists of six different seasons in a yearly cycle. Each season is indicated by the changes in our Flora and Fauna. Noongar people hunted and gathered food according to the season they are in. The campfires on the umpire's shirt illustrate the Six Seasons, with people sitting around and yarning throughout the Six Seasons calendar year and the pathway connecting each season.
The story behind the WAFLW game day ball is about the Dukatj Snake surrounding the WAFLW logo creating the pathways to and from the game showing many different pathways to follow, arriving at the destination, and then departing after the gathering. The campfires represent the players, staff, families, members, and visitors from different groups around the world uniting as one at the WAFLW Indigenous Round.
I encourage each and every one of you to attend the WAFLW game this weekend and celebrate Indigenous Round with us.
“Please join us on our journey”.