2017 is a milestone year for our First Nations people with the 50 year anniversary of the 1967 Referendum that saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the census.
In the club's short 10-year history, there has been 24 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples play in the NRL for the Gold Coast Titans and 10% of the players and staff are of Indigenous background, and it's a number that the club is proud of.
Over the past fortnight, we have been able to recognise and celebrate the huge impact the Indigenous people have had on the club and community.
To kick off the celebrations, we launched our Reconciliation Action Plan Innovate which provides a framework for organisations to realise their vision for reconciliation. Working closely with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community stakeholders and players Ryan James and Ash Taylor the RAP was endorsed by Reconciliation Australia to coincide with the lead into NRL Indigenous Round.
The RAP Launch, included cultural awareness training by the NRL’s Dean Widders, traditional food and a cultural performance by the Yugambeh Dance Group for players, staff, sponsors and the local community. Everyone also had a chance to take a sneak peak of our Indigenous Jersey designed by Foundation player Preston Campbell. The jerseys worn during Round 10 and Round 11 tells the story of Connection.
“Indigenous Australian culture is diverse and varies from one nation to the next.
There are similarities and differences within Indigenous nations of Australia, as
well as around the world, one thing we all have in common is our understanding
"Rugby league is able to give us an opportunity where we can make something of ourselves and hopefully then realise that rugby league is a great platform to be able to help others, help others that come from a very similar background to what we do.
A true testament to the Preston legacy is the Preston Campbell Foundation (PCF), which is a community based not-for-profit organisation supporting Campbell’s vision of developing programs and opportunities that inspire and connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with their culture, sense of place and wellbeing. As part of the AQUIS Community Group Program, PCF training participants attending the game and formed the guard of honour.
The Indigenous Jerseys worn for the Titans away game against Broncos and home game against Roosters will be up for auction. Along with eleven players boots featuring the Recognise logo, Steeden Football and kicking tees hand painted by local Indigenous Artist Janelle McQueen. With all proceeds going to Titans Indigenous Programs and our Program Partners: Preston Campbell Foundation and Deadly Choices.