The AFLW’s showpiece Dreamtime game, which celebrates the contribution of Indigenous players to the AFL, will be held in Darwin for the first time this year.

Richmond and Essendon will be played during the AFLW’s Indigenous Round later this year.

The AFLW match will bring together some of the best women footballers in the country to engage with fans and participants, inspiring young girls who dream of being part of the AFLW.

Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said that the opportunity to take the AFLW Dreamtime match to Darwin made great sense to both clubs, particularly given their strong connections with the top end.

“The female game continues to grow and the opportunity to showcase elite female talent in Darwin can only support that,” he said.

“To do that, while also celebrating the enormous contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have made to the game, will make this a really significant occasion and hopefully lay the foundation for future Dreamtime games to be played in Darwin."

Northern Territory Governments Chief Minister Eva Lawler said that the game was not only great for sport in the NT, but also the economy.

“The Northern Territory is home to the largest population of the oldest continuous cultures on the planet and this Dreamtime match will play an important role in celebrating this rich cultural heritage,” she said.

“I have no doubt this game will sell out fast and provide a great spectacle to inspire another generation of girls to get involved in footy.”

The Territory’s Minister for Sport, Kate Worden added that the NT had the highest participation rates per capita of women in AFL.

This match will provide the opportunity to showcase the Territory’s passion for AFLW on the national stage,” she added.

“Hosting this game builds on the work of the AFL Taskforce and allows the Territory to demonstrate we can host major sporting events.

“The Territory has produced some of the best Indigenous footballers to play the game. It is fitting the Dreamtime game will return to Darwin.”

AFL CEO Andrew Dillon added his thanks to the Northern Territory Government.

“Dreamtime at the G is always a special occasion on the AFL calendar, so to now have the Essendon and Richmond AFLW teams continue that tradition and celebrate AFLW Indigenous Round in the Top End is a fantastic initiative,” he said.

“I am sure it will be a great event for the clubs and the community…. (and) have no doubt will be a great celebration for both teams and local fans.”