This weekend, Saturday 31 May – Sunday 1 June, the Southern Football League will be embracing Indigenous Round. It will be a weekend dedicated to raising awareness about our country’s Indigenous culture and recognising the contribution that these players, families and supporters have made to Aussie Rules.
Initiatives such as Indigenous Round are becoming more prevalent in our society today, as the need to educate younger generations who have the ability to make change in the future becomes increasingly important. The SFL acknowledges the role that football plays in promoting strong Indigenous role models for communities, families and children and supports a zero tolerance to racial mistreatment throughout the league and the community.
The SFL are proud to have many Indigenous role models throughout the league who continue to educate those around them about their heritage. Role models such as Bayley and Zali Mifsud, two sisters from Heatherton Football Club’s netball team. Not only are they a great representation of the SFL’s Indigenous community, they have also been selected in 'Budgies' representative squads for the best indigenous netballers in the country. The Mifsud family’s Indigenous ancestry can be tracked back to the Gunditjmara people of South-Eastern Victoria.
Fourteen-year-old Zali and sixteen-year-old Bayley are not only proud of their aboriginal heritage, but embrace any opportunity to represent the Indigenous community through sport. They will be involved in the AFL’s Dreamtime at the ‘G festivities before this Saturday night's Essendon versus Richmond clash. Bayley says “(It’s) a really big week for my family to get involved and teach people about our culture and what it means to us.”
Another SFL Indigenous role model and Caulfield Bears player is Rohan Wight. Wight travelled to Alice Springs to represent Victoria in the Imparja Cup T20 tournament. Wight felt this was an important journey of self-discovery and a unique opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge about his Indigenous roots which lie with the Burramatugal Tribe from Parramatta, New South Wales. “They made us realise the importance of where most of our ancestors had come from and it showed that traditional Aboriginal culture and values are still well and truly alive and kicking out in those parts.”
The SFL appreciates the contribution made by these players for Indigenous Round. Full stories can be seen in this week’s Record. We look forward to the participation of all clubs and the community throughout the weekend!