In a first for the Australian Football League, representatives from the Richmond and Essendon football clubs will perform a war cry during this Saturday night’s Dreamtime at the ‘G pre-game ceremony.
Senior cultural advisor Jamie Thomas helped the Tigers create their war cry, which will be performed by 16 young Indigenous dancers to symbolise unity through dance and celebrate Indigenous culture.
The war cry was developed in conjunction with Richmond’s leadership group and Indigenous players, to reflect the Club’s core values.
The war cry will be in Peek Wurrung language, from an area in South West Victoria, and focuses on the themes of respect, strength and unity.
Richmond’s dancers have a longstanding connection with the Club, through the Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI).
They are current participants of the KGI’s Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leadership (REAL) and Laguntas programs, which aim to support the development of young Indigenous people into confident and proud community leaders.
KGI Director Aaron Clark hoped the way cry would be embraced by all Australians.
“The KGI is unique and innovative Indigenous space focused on leadership development, education and training and career pathway development,” Clark said.
“Richmond will be represented by 16 emerging leaders as they perform the war cry this Saturday night, symbolising unity through dance and embracing Indigenous culture.
“The key themes of the dance revolve around ‘Respect earth, ancestors, people. We are fast, strong and hunting. Together we are Laguntas (Tigers)’.
“It is a celebration of cultural pride and reconciliation, which underpins the story behind Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round.”
This year will mark the 12th time Richmond and Essendon have played in the marquee Dreamtime at the ‘G match.
Six years ago, the Tigers became the first AFL Club to wear a dedicated Indigenous guernsey.
The league subsequently mandated all Clubs have an Indigenous guernsey.
This year’s Richmond guernsey design highlights the Club’s past, present, and future players.
It is based on the Club’s yellow clash guernsey – the first time Richmond’s Dreamtime guernsey has been predominantly yellow in colour.
Richmond is an industry leader in its commitment to reconciliation and is one of 14 Australian businesses, and the only sporting Club, to hold an Elevate RAP status.
Reconciliation Australia formally endorses Elevate RAP status to organisations with a demonstrated history of achievement and leadership across all three core RAP areas - respect, relationships and opportunities.