Sharks RECOGNISE Indigenous Round

In their win over the Dragons last weekend the Sharks proudly wore their specially-designed Indigenous jerseys in celebrating Indigenous Round.

The weekend represented the first time in history every NRL club had worn Indigenous-inspired jerseys during the same round.  

A series of cultural performances, gift exchanges, a performance on-screen by Judith Durham and Welcome to Country ceremonies took place, with a theme of Recognition as the focal point throughout the round.

And this weekend, after playing on the road in round 10, the Sharks will conduct their own celebrations at Southern Cross Group Stadium prior to kick-off to the game against the Cowboys, with the NRL team to wear the Indigenous jersey design for the second week in a row.

The Sharks will also support RECOGNISE on the night, the movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution and ensure there is no place for racial discrimination.

The NRL's Indigenous Round aimed to highlight significant social issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It was also seen as an opportunity for the game to cement their commitment to the Indigenous community and to celebrate the unique relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Rugby League.

In addition, 2017 is a year of celebration in recognition of some significant milestones.

Along with the partnership with RECOGNISE, Australia celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Referendum and the 25th Anniversary of the Mabo decision.

Coincidently, the Sharks share in the anniversary milestone, with this season their 50th in the top-flight rugby league competition.

The 1967 Referendum enabled States and Territories to make laws in support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to count them in the census, while the 1992 High Court Mabo decision recognised native title for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council Chairwoman, the Honourable Linda Burney MP said the NRL support of Indigenous Round would provide a continued opportunity to celebrate the unique bond between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Rugby League.

“Rugby League has been a leader in support and inclusion for all people over many years and the game benefits greatly from the participation and engagement levels of Indigenous communities,” Ms Burney said.

“As a Rugby League fan, it is pleasing to be involved with a game that recognises and celebrates Indigenous peoples not just during one round of the year, but throughout the year, both on and off the field.”

As a part of pre-game celebrations Aboriginal students from the Endeavour Sports High School Clontarf Academy, many who are residents of Kirinari aboriginal hostel in Sylvania, will conduct a special digeridoo performance, chairperson of Kurranulla Aboriginal Corporation Deanna Schreiber, the 2016 Sutherland Shire Citizen of the year, will deliver an Acknowledgement of Country and Col Hardy OAM, an Aboriginal elder who lives in Caringbah and was the first Aboriginal to win a golden guitar at the Tamworth Australian Country Music Awards, will sing ‘I am Australian’.

The game day partner tomorrow is the ‘RECOGNISE’ campaign, with RECOGNISE volunteers in their ‘R’ t-shirts in attendance to talk with members and fans and answer any queries or questions in relation to the initiative.