Kari help 'Close the Gap' once again
Friday 16 August 2013 11:06 AM
The Sharks will again wear the specially-designed KARI Aboriginal Resources ‘Close the Gap’ jerseys when they take on the St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday night.
While the KARI jersey was unveiled by the Sharks when they tackled the Newcastle Knights, the official NRL ‘Close the Gap’ round falls this weekend and the Sharks anmd KARI are again supporting the important initiative.
The jersey has been produced by apparel supplier Blades and provided by KARI Aboriginal Resources, with KARI CEO Paul Ralph pleased his organisation has been able to partner the Sharks for a second week in helping to highlight the serious issue of indigenous health inequality.
“I have no doubt the jersey the Sharks wore last week helped to bring some focus and awareness as we work together to spread important messages affecting Indigenous Australia. With this week being the official NRL Close the Gap round it made perfect sense for us to be involved once again,” Ralph said.
Founded in 1999 and based in Sydney’s south-west, KARI is now recognised as the largest accredited Aboriginal Children's Service in NSW with a focus on foster care and education.
As Ralph added, the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia is nowhere more prevalent than in the Australian foster care system.
“Aboriginal children are removed more than 10 times the rate of non-Aboriginal children. In mid-2012, Aboriginal children accounted for over one third of the 39,621 children in the foster care system,” he said.
“Closing the Gap shouldn’t just be a phrase thrown around government policy. It should be seen as real collective action to better the lives of Aboriginal and Indigenous communities,” he said.
The NRL has dedicated the ‘Close the Gap’ round to show its commitment to Indigenous Australia, with a number of teams this weekend joining the Sharks wearing jerseys displaying indigenous designs and artwork.
In addition to showing off the distinctive jersey design the Sharks will also be wearing the KARI purple socks for the game with the Dragons on Saturday, which kicks off at 7.30pm at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.