Aligning with national AFL matches, Cairns AFL will host the annual Indigenous round, taking place on the 25th of May. The event will start off at 2:00pm with Port vs Hawks, followed by Centrals TB vs Saints, Power vs Souths and Lions vs Norths. The event hopes to acknowledge the positive impact football has had on the local Indigenous community, such as providing positive role models and promoting healthy lifestyle choices. The event also recognises the role of Indigenous players in the AFL.
The day will end with the ‘Dreamtime by the Sea’ match, which includes traditional food tasting, Indigenous dance, music and art displays as well as football matches for all ages. ‘Dreamtime by the Sea’ will serve as a celebration of the local Indigenous culture and community, with an elder from the Yirrganydji people conducting a Welcome to Country and presentations by local Indigenous dancers.
In 2018, 83 Indigenous players were on AFL club lists, accounting for roughly 10 per cent of all listed AFL players in Australia. Indigenous AFL programs have been established across the country, such as Port Adelaide’s ‘Community Youth Program’, in the hopes of further growing participation and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.