During May and June, clubs, associations and competitions from the grassroots to the ANZ Championship across Australia will celebrate and recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, culture and a commitment to reconciliation through a variety of Reconciliation Rounds, matches and initiatives as part of National Reconciliation Week.
In 2016 National Reconciliation Week will be celebrated from 27 May to 3 June around the theme ‘Our History, Our Story, Our Future’.
State League Rounds in both ACT and Tasmania will observe cultural protocol and incorporate activities celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait culture and communities through their Reconciliation Rounds during this week.
Netball Tasmania CEO Julia Phillips said the round is a great opportunity to reflect, recognise and celebrate the Aboriginal netball community in Tasmania, but that creating more inclusive netball environments isn’t limited to one week a year.
“National Reconciliation Week is the perfect time for Netball Tasmania to celebrate the importance of our Indigenous community with a special round of our ANZ State League,” Phillips said.
“Netball is a sport for everyone, all ages, all abilities, and all backgrounds. Inclusive sport is something we value 365 days of the year, but Reconciliation Week is a wonderful moment for us to recognise and celebrate indigenous culture in Tasmania.”
In Victoria, Football/Netball leagues across the State from Mornington Peninsula to Ballarat are hosting Indigenous Rounds and incorporating NetSetGO and Auskick sessions for new participants.
Cassandra Hadson, Community Development Manager at Netball Victoria says the Leagues and Clubs host Reconciliation matches to show respect for their local Aboriginal community and the Traditional Land Owners.
“From large scale, themed rounds through to smaller community activations, each of these initiatives are done in the spirit of reconciliation and are led by passionate, community-minded netball volunteers,” Hadson said.
In the ANZ Championship, two Indigenous matches will be hosted by Netball SA and Netball WA, where the home teams will wear dresses designed by local Aboriginal artists, incorporate observance of cultural protocol, traditional dance and performance into match day activities and showcase young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teams in curtain raiser matches and ANZ NetSetGO sessions