The Adelaide Football Club has marked Reconciliation Week with a range of activities within the Club and out in the community.
Driven by the Club’s Second Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, the week aimed to build relationships and understanding between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Non-Indigenous Australians.
The high point of the week was Adelaide’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round clash with Collingwood on Adelaide Oval.
The match was opened with a Welcome to Country performed by Kuma Kaaru’s Jack Buckskin, followed by a Torres Strait Islander performance by Torres Strait Islander man and community leader Uncle Eddie Peters.
Players then entered the field wearing their 2021 Indigenous Round guernsey, designed by AFL player and proud Torres Strait Islander, Ben Davis.
A number of former Club players, including Eddie Hocking, Ricky O’Loughlin, Graham Johncock, Shane Tongerie and Tayla Thorn, attended the game and filled important roles throughout the day.
Earlier in the week, the Club welcomed Adelaide AFLW forward Erin Phillips and AFL Diversity Talent Manager Pauly Vandenburgh as part of the Club’s ongoing commitment to the We Got You campaign.
The We Got You Ambassadors shared their personal journey and spoke to the playing group about this year’s Reconciliation Week theme ‘more than a word - reconciliation takes action’ and how it relates to the athlete-led campaign.
To continue the education of Torres Strait Islander culture represented in the 2021 guernsey, the Club also hosted a special lunch to acknowledge Mabo Day hosted by Torres Strait Islander community leader Uncle Eddie Peters.
Peters shared his knowledge of culture with players and staff through music, storytelling and language, and finished the session by teaching the playing group traditional war chants.
Reconciliation Week also provided opportunities for players and staff to offer their support to local Indigenous community organisations that make a lasting impact.
AFLW players Sarah Allan, Chelsea Biddell and Najwa Allen joined the Tjindu Foundation’s female academy to answer questions, share advice and provide on-ground support before and during their game against Immanuel College.
AFL player Ben Davis visited Elizabeth Grove Primary School to share the inspiration and story behind his guernsey design, whilst encouraging the students to embrace healthy lifestyle choices and chase their dreams.
The Club’s community team also played a role in the SEDA College Reconciliation Cup and at West Point Primary School’s Fringedigenous event, and a number of staff attended the Reconciliation SA breakfast.
Indigenous Programs Manager Jeremy Johncock said the commitment from players and staff during the week was outstanding.
“As the theme for Reconciliation week says ‘more than words, takes action’ we certainly did that across the week and will continue to do so across the entire year,” Johncock said.
“Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week are significant events for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, it’s a time to reflect, educate and celebrate our shared history and achievements.”
The Adelaide Football Club is committed to being an active participant in Australia’s reconciliation journey.
The Club’s Second Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan can be found here: https://resources.afc.com.au/aflc-adel/document/2021/02/25/4fdc1f8c-3dcc-4a00-a9cb-79380b49f3d9/INTR0501-2021-2022-RAP-Report-FA-Web-.pdf