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Richmond connects fans to traditional land before home games

richmondfc.com.au  March 19, 2018 9:33 PM

Acknowledgement of Country Richmond will recognise and pay its respects to the traditional owners of the land it plays on, with an Acknowledgement of Country video to be played before all of the team's home games at the MCG.

Richmond will recognise and pay its respects to the traditional owners of the land it gathers and competes on, producing an Acknowledgement of Country video to be played before each Richmond home game at the MCG.

The Club’s Aboriginal players feature in the video piece filmed in Yarra Park, the land between both the Richmond Football Club and the iconic MCG – all located on the country of the Wurundjeri people.

The land has been a gathering place for thousands of years, and continues to be a place to play, dance, sing and celebrate Australia’s modern identity.

The players in this piece speak in local Woiworrung language, and in doing so, strengthen their own identity and connection with the traditional owners of the land on which they work and play.

Richmond’s connection to Indigenous culture and community features in the video with vision of Richmond’s War Cry dance and other cultural elements of the Dreamtime at the ‘G ceremony.

The Club and Richmond’s Indigenous Centre, the Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI) sought cultural support from Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy Murphy, and advice from Mandy Nicholson from Djirri Djirri Cultural Services to teach the players the language and pronunciation of the wording.

Mandy has played a significant role at the KGI to facilitate a revival of traditional dance with the hundreds of young people in its programming.  

Aaron Clark, KGI Director said the gesture of welcoming people to country has been a part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures for thousands of years.

“Traditionally, welcoming people to Country was a way to give permission to other Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander groups to move through your land, and wish them safe passage and protection during their journey,” Clark said.

“In our acknowledgment, our Indigenous players and the football club are welcoming fans to our great game, acknowledging the traditional land that we’re standing on, and also deepening the connection between football fans and our Indigenous people.” 

“We see this content as a natural extension of our commitment to Reconciliation and ability to connect people to a sense of place within Melbourne, the Yarra River (Birrungmarr).”

“We celebrate our Indigenous culture in football during Sir Doug Nicholls Round, but we view this acknowledgement as an opportunity to recognise and celebrate with our fans at every Richmond home game.”

Clark said the cultural programming offered at the KGI emulated the features of the video.

“Part of the KGI’s programming is to strengthen cultural connection through language, land and storytelling with our participants, and we’ve utilised that in our video story tell with the players,” said Clark.

The first opportunity for fans to see the Acknowledgement of Country video at the MCG is before this Thursday night’s blockbuster against Carlton.