Former Shark Preston Campbell addressed the gathering made up of players and staff, Aunty Deanna Schreiber spoke of the special jersey in which the Sharks will play in this week and the Glen Dance Group entertained the crowd at a special indigenous cultural awareness session earlier today.
An event coinciding with National Reconciliation Week and the NRL’s Indigenous round, Campbell, now an ambassador for Sharks community partner Deadly Choices, spoke with passion and pride in communicating his messages on indigenous health and culture to a full room in Sharks Leagues Club.
His address followed on from local elder Aunty Deanna’s acknowledgement to country and her detailed explanation as to the significance and design of the 2019 Sharks Indigenous jersey.
The Sharks will this week play in the specially-designed playing strip when they tackle St George Illawarra before also wearing the jersey at home in round 16 against the Broncos.
Then in an entertaining conclusion to the event it was the Central Coast-based Glen Dance Group with an uplifting presentation, performing a cultural dance before calling on the assistance of a handful of Sharks Indigenous and non-Indigenous players in providing the perfect finale to the day of cultural celebrations.
Deadly Choices staff were also in attendance on the day in support of the Sharks efforts within the Indigenous space, with a group of some 20 School to Work students painting footballs to be given out at the Sharks v Broncos match which falls during NAIDOC Week in giving the Club an opportunity to celebrate Indigenous Round on home soil coinciding with the first day of NAIDOC week.
Aunty Deanna led the Aboriginal painting session with the School to Work students.
The Sharks involvement and support of National Reconciliation Week and the NRL Indigenous Round aligns with the Club’s new ‘Innovate’ Reconciliation Action Plan which launched earlier year.
Today’s event and the Indigenous celebrations also aligns with the Sharks Have Heart pillar of ‘Inclusivity and Diversity’.