WOODSIDE Wildcats will be wearing specially-designed jumpers and netball bibs this Saturday when they take on TTU for their NAIDOC game.
The jumpers are a symbol of a nine-year unique partnership with Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place.
Wulgunggo Ngalu is run by the Victorian Department of Justice. It was built on the old Won Wron Prison site and opened in 2008. It is a place for Koori males to rehabilitate and reconnect with their culture while connecting with the wider community.
The Wulgunngo Ngalu/Wildcats partnership after the commenced in late 2007/early 2008 when the hand of friendship was extended to the manager Shaun Braybrook and the participants to come on down to the club for a ‘run around’.
In 2008 Woodside and District reformed their club and were accepted into the NGFNL and looking forward to a whole new beginning of which they wanted Wulgunggo Ngalu to be a part.
Shaun signed on as a player and since that first season, the club has proudly flown the Australian Aboriginal flag to celebrate NAIDOC week.
In 2012 Shaun took on the role as coach. Shaun’s coaching credentials were impressive, he had led the Fitzroy All-stars to victory over many years at the Indigenous Carnival held in Melbourne each year.
Since Shaun took on the coaching role the reserves players have celebrated NAIDOC week with a special dance and didgeridoo playing in the rooms before their match.
This year with sponsorship from East Gippsland Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Group they are able to showcase the clubs partnership with Wulgunggo Ngalu and other Indigenous players who now play for the Wildcats.
Shaun designed the jumpers to celebrate, not just Indigenous Round and NAIDOC but the significance of their partnership with the football netball club.
Before presenting the jumpers to the players, Shaun explained the significance of the design and outlined the events that would take place on Saturday.
“The day will commence with a flag raising ceremony before the thirds match,” Shaun said.
“Just prior to the reserves match we will have Jamie Thomas in the rooms with us give a talk. Jamie helped with the celebrations at the MCG during the ‘Dreamtime’ match and this will be followed by some didgeridoo playing broadcast over the PA system.
“At 2pm we will have a country smoking and dancing ceremony which the netballers and footballers will be involved in before the matches start.
“Wulgunggo Ngalu and Woodside Wildcats have a very special bond, a bond we want to celebrate during Indigenous round,” Shaun said.
Throughout the day there will be Wulgunggo Ngalu staff members will be looking after the indigenous barbecue in front of the clubrooms, with crocodile, kangaroo and emu sausages on the menu.
At half-time of the seniors match the Wulgunggo Ngalu members will be doing a traditional dance on the oval.
After the match best-on-ground awards will be presented to footballers and netballers.
The Wildcats will get to wear their jumpers the following week as well as they help Churchill celebrate Indigenous Round on their home ground.
Categorised in: Woodside FNC
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