Clubs invited to celebrate Indigenous Round

The AFL will celebrate Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round* across Round 10 of the 2016 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, May 27-29.

AFL Queensland is inviting all clubs and affiliate leagues to join in celebrating the connection between the game and Indigenous Australia by linking AFL fans/players/coaches/volunteers/staff to the Indigenous culture.


Throughout Queensland, AFLQ has identified a number of games where the three field umpires will wear either Indigenous or Torres Strait islander Flag socks or the two goal umpires in each match will wave either Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander Flags

If your club would like to be part of this initiative, please contact AFLQ Diversity Coordinator Eddie Sansbury: Please note, supply is limited.


The following traditional symbols are a suggested way in which indigenous Round can be celebrated at community football venues;

* Nominate an Indigenous community leader to toss the coin.

* Nominate an Indigenous player to be the club’s coin toss representative

*Undertake an acknowledge or welcome to country (please see below notes)

* Display the Indigenous and Torres Strait Island Flags

* Invite past indigenous players back to your club (could link into #AFLQ150 Homecoming)

* Paint the centre circle in Indigenous colours.

* Website/Media content that tell your club/league’s link to the Indigenous culture.



At a minimum, competing teams should conduct an Acknowledge of Country pre-game (all grades and age-groups).

Acknowledge of Country

An Acknowledge of Country can be delivered by anyone (ie. Club President, Captain, etc);

“I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we meet today and pay my respects to the elders past and present. The AFL values and our committed partnership with Indigenous communities respects the protocols heritage and culture of all indigenous people.”


Welcome to Country

A Welcome to Country can only be given by traditional owners and custodians of the land in question.

AFLQ are happy to assist in the lead up to Indigenous Round to ensure that Welcome to Countries are specific and culturally relevant (please contact Eddie Sansbury).

We ask that each club liaise with the visiting team and umpires to coordinate an Acknowledge of Country or a Welcome to Country. Suggested ceremony timings.

Suggested ceremony timings
7 minutes prior             Indigenous Round observance ceremony (in order of which to run some/all of


                                      Teams line up
                                      Welcome to Country / Acknowledge of Country
                                     National Anthem
2 minutes prior             Coin toss
Game Time                    Match commences
  1. NB: For clubs with additional items on their program, please allow the necessary time to ensure games continue at the scheduled time. Please assemble teams in one straight line with the umpires positioned in the middle.
  1. Media 

If you are planning on celebrating Indigenous Round, we want to assist you with promoting the game and your club  (sharing your activities/photos on our website/social media). Please speak directly with our Media Manager  Lisa McKoy:


*The AFL’s annual round recognising and celebrating indigenous players and culture has been renamed in honour of Sir Doug Nicholls.

Sir Doug, who epitomised the spirit of reconciliation, played 54 games for Fitzroy and was a brilliant all-round athlete. The first Aboriginal person to be knighted, he also served as Governor of South Australia and was devoted to the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


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