AFL Mackay to Honour Indigenous Round
AFL Mackay will pay homage to its indigenous heritage with a welcome to country at all senior games this weekend.
Cultural leader Owen Battersby will deliver the welcome to country before a smoking ceremony by the Yuwibara people at Harrup Park.
“It's a very important part of the day to receive the traditional owners' welcome to their land before the game,” Battersby said.
Meantime the North Mackay Saints will take on the Bakers Creek Tigers at Zeolla Park wearing dedicated Indigenous Guernseys for the occasion.
Guest captain for the Saints Norman Woods said donning the jumper means connecting as one, indigenous and non-indigenous, in unity for all to see.
"The colours represent a new starting point of creation which enables each of us to break free of our everyday lives,” Woods said.
"To the brothers who will be sharing the field with me: this is a time for you to call forth your spirit and show us who you are in your fullest and truest expression.
"It's an honour to wear the same jumper amongst a special group of men experiencing life through a game we all love."
Mr Battersby said the round means players and supporters can express and acknowledge their cultural background through the sport they're most passionate about.
"The whole AFL community throughout the Mackay region can reflect back on our traditional owners & what they still bring to the community today.”
Following the formalities, Mackay City Hawks will take on the Eastern Swans Harrup Park at 2.45pm.
The Mackay Magpies kick off against the Whitsunday Sea Eagles at 4.30pm at Magpies Sporting Club.
And the North Mackay Saints will auction off their Indigenous guernseys following the 3pm match against Bakers Creek at Zeolla Park.