The Sir Doug Nicholls Round celebrates and highlights the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to the game of football and to our country. The round celebrates the relationship between the game and Indigenous Australia by connecting AFL fans to Indigenous culture.
The 2022 Toyota Sir Doug Nicholls Round will be a true celebration of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and their contribution to Australian Football, and how players past and present have inspired generations of Australians.
To celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture throughout our game we would like to extend our Sir Doug Nicholls Round celebrations and content to our AFL Community Football Leagues.
The first consideration is what an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person sees when they arrive at your club, this could very well dictate their initial feelings of inclusion within the club.
Is your club culturally inclusive?:
Before you begin with implementing new programs or initiatives to increase Indigenous participation it is important that you assess how culturally inclusive your club is.
- Do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel comfortable, connected and valued at your club?
- Is your club welcoming to the Indigenous community?
- Most importantly, does your club have a zero tolerance policy to racial discrimination.
- Please read ‘Making your club more culturally inclusive for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’ to ensure that you are taking appropriate steps to be culturally inclusive.
Advise the League and / or Association
It is important to work with your League or Association before getting too far into planning your event to ensure they support the concept and can help you with any logistics.
- Advise league of all game day plans or activities
- Invite League Officials to attend on the day.
- Advise opposition club of activities and invite them to be active participants; do this well in advance so the other team has time to prepare accordingly
- This is also a good opportunity to engage media
- The league may need to approve change of game time: your club may need to allow time for Ceremonies and activities between or before games or to allow all teams to come together in a central location at your venue.
- The league may also need to approve your club wearing a different uniform/ Aboriginal designed uniforms to ensure no guernsey clashes and you may need approval to use an alternative game ball (if you choose to do this).
Engaging the local Aboriginal or Torres strait Islander community
It is important to engage the local community in planning your Indigenous round.
- Identify and invite any local Aboriginal organisations or community groups to be involved in planning and running activities on the day. If you cannot identify any local Aboriginal organisations or community groups, reach out to your local council as they may be able to provide you a contact to assist in this process.
- Request input and seek advise on cultural activities and ceremonies from relevant Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people/ organisations.
When considering what your club may like to do for Indigenous round it is a good idea to consider what your club has the resources to deliver, what your club can afford and what will be sustainable. It is best to ensure that your club participates respectfully and builds a base to complete more activities in the future. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated or cost a lot for your club to hold an Indigenous Round.
Promote your Indigenous round Internally and externally
- Post messages on the clubs website and social media.
- Distribute posters, flyers and invitations prior to the game
- Notify the media
- Link to other NAIDOC/Reconciliation Week events to help promote game and build a week of celebration within the community
- Invites to Elders and any Aboriginal community members and groups as guests
- Identify and Invite current and past players and acknowledge their contribution
Funding your Indigenous round
Depending on the activities that you have planned for Indigenous round, it may be beyond your clubs budget. There are some avenues you may like to take to seek funding or sponsorship and if you cant access further funds you may need to scale back the scope/ activities of your event.
You may like to seek grants from your local government, state government or federal government. Grants may be listed under sport sections, NAIDOC activities, reconciliation activities or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander grants.
Seeking sponsorship from local businesses is also another option in funding your Indigenous round activities. You may like to look at putting local business logos on uniforms or social media or asking the local business if they would like to come and promote their business on the day. You may also like to ask for in-kind support in way of BBQ supplies or assistance with the event.
Naming your clubs Indigenous round: Naming your clubs Indigenous round something significant is a great opportunity to put some extra personalization on the round. You may consider naming the round after a past Indigenous player or with consultation of the local Indigenous people you may name the round in the local language. You may also like to play for a perpetual shield or cup such as the XXX Shield or XXX Cup.
Flag raising: Starting off your Indigenous round with raising the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander flag is a great way to show respect to Indigenous people. You may like to ask an Indigenous player/past player to raise the flag or even engage a local Aboriginal Elder or community member.
Minute of Silence: Holding a minute of silence is a respectful way to pay homage to the history of Aboriginal people, especially those that have passed away. This is something that you could introduce and ask the playing group, officials and spectators all participate in.
Acknowledgement of country: Anyone can do an acknowledgement to country. This is an opportunity for your club to Acknowledge the traditional owners of the country which your football club is on. This may be spoken over the loud speaker, or spoken in front of the playing group.
Welcome to country: A Welcome to country can only be performed by an Aboriginal person who is a traditional owner of the area in which the welcome to country will be performed.
Smoking Ceremony: A smoking ceremony is a cultural cleansing ceremony that involves burning of specific leaves to create smoke. Aboriginal people have been performing this ceremony this for thousands of years. This is something that you may be able to plan when you organise a welcome to country.
Cultural Dancers: You may ask cultural dancers to attend and dance at the event to display and celebrate their culture. You may be able to access cultural dancers or contacts for cultural dancers through your local Indigenous organisation.
Musicians: Indigenous round is a great opportunity to showcase local Indigenous musicians and talent. You may be able to seek out expressions of interest for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers who would like to perform or reach out to your local Indigenous community for contacts.
Ground markings: Marking the oval with ground paint in a great visual inclusion for Indigenous round. Some options include painting an aboriginal flag in the center circle or painting the 50 meter arcs in red, black and yellow.
Halftime event: Hosting a halftime event in your club rooms with past indigenous players/coaches and inviting local Indigenous community members is a fantastic relationship building opportunity and a great way to acknowledge the contribution of past Indigenous players and coaches. You may ask a current or past player if they would like to speak at this event also.
Indigenous design guernsey: Having an Indigenous designed guernsey is a great way to engage a local Indigenous artist, this may be someone within the local community or a current or past player/coach. Payment should be discussed prior to the artwork being produced so that everyone is clear as to weather this is an in-kind artwork or a paid job. Once you have the artwork you can contact your uniform supplier and they can assist with the process to have guernsey printed. This can be a lengthy process so ensure that you allow adequate time for the process to be completed prior to your desired Indigenous round date. You may like to keep the guernseys to utilise for following years Indigenous games or you may like to auction the match worn guernseys after the game to raise money back to the club.
Merchandise: Having Indigenous designed Merchandise is a great way to engage a local Indigenous artist and include the entire football club and supporters within Indigenous round. You may ask someone within the local community or a current or past player/coach if they would be interested in doing an artwork. Payment should be discussed prior to the artwork being produced so that everyone is clear as to weather this is an in-kind artwork or a paid job. Once you have the artwork you can contact your uniform supplier and they can assist with the process to have merchandise printed. This can be a lengthy process so ensure that you allow adequate time for the process to be completed prior to your desired Indigenous round date. Merchandise can be sold to players, officials and community/supporters to raise money for the club. Some great ideas for merchandise are scarfs, beanies, hats or even incorporating an Indigenous design into your whole club polo or training guernsey.
Auction/raffle artwork: Purchasing artwork from a local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artist, or utilising the artwork you may have used for the Indigenous round design to raffle or auction is a great fundraising option and a great way to engage the community/supporters in the activities of Indigenous round.
Game Ball: Having a game ball designed with Indigenous art is a statement and a great way to engage a local Indigenous artist, this may be someone within the local community or a current or past player/coach. Payment should be discussed prior to the artwork being produced so that everyone is clear as to weather this is an in-kind artwork or a paid job. Once you have the artwork you can contact your local league and they should be able to assist you to contact a ball supplier who will assist with the process to have the artwork printed onto balls.
Decorations: Decorating the clubrooms or common areas is a nice way to visually celebrate Indigenous round. Using red, black and yellow colours to represent the Aboriginal flag and blue, green, white and black colours to represent the Torres Strait Islander flag. You may like to decorate with balloons, streamers, displaying pictures of past Indigenous players or having a cake/ cupcakes made displaying the Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander flags to be cut at halftime or sold at the canteen. Armbands Wearing black tape or Red black and yellow tape as armbands is a way of showing respect to someone/those who have passed away. It is a sign of mourning to wear armband tape. This is a way to acknowledge the history of Aboriginal people.
Activities: Additional activities for Indigenous round may include having face painters painting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
Relationships: You may like to ask Indigenous organisations if they would like to bring banners to display or if they have a marquee they would like to set up at the event.
Increasing Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Auskick Participation