Indigenous participation across Rugby League will be celebrated at an all-day inaugural All Stars Festival announced today to be held at Miami, Gold Coast, on the eve of the 2012 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match at Skilled Park in February.

The NRL and the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council today confirmed the All Stars Festival on Friday, February 3, as a new addition to the 2012 All Stars calendar, with the event also reinforcing the code’s broader commitment to Indigenous Australia.

The All Stars Festival will be held at Burleigh Bears Junior Rugby League Oval from 10am to 5pm, and will include the best Indigenous Club players coming together later in the evening for the inaugural Koori versus Murri match nearby at Burleigh Bears’ Bob Singh Oval.

A highlight of the All Stars Festival will be the jersey presentation for the 2012 Indigenous All Stars side, with the founder of the All Stars concept and former captain of the Indigenous team, Preston Campbell, presenting to the entire squad, as well as to the Indigenous Women’s All Stars team.

The Festival will also see the inaugural NACCHO Deadly Choices Interstate Challenge between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rugby League players from Queensland (Murri) and New South Wales (Koori).

The QAIHC Southern Dingoes (QLD) will play the Mindaribba Warriors (NSW) at 7.30pm at Burleigh Bears’ Bob Singh Oval, with the winning team to be crowned the Australian Indigenous and Torres Strait champions.

The inaugural event will showcase Indigenous Rugby League talent bringing together the two winning teams from the Queensland and New South Wales Indigenous knockout carnivals held in September.

ARL Indigenous Council Chairman, Mr William “Smiley” Johnstone, said: “We recognised the need to include an event in the All Stars Week that really celebrates and showcases Indigenous participation in Rugby League.

“From school children, to the Club level, to the Indigenous Under 16s and Indigenous Women’s All Stars, and all the way to our elite Indigenous All Stars side, we want this to be known as a week for all Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members to be included in Rugby League.”

A primary focus of the All Stars Festival is the Learn Earn Legend! Job Expo which offers information to people who are looking at taking their next career steps from either school or their present job. It will feature stalls from universities, defence careers, “Try a Trade” demonstrators, employment agencies, TAFE colleges and careers experts in sport and the arts.

In addition to the careers exhibition, a number of health organisations offering information and free health checks, as well as local and government organisations, will attend to showcase their products.  

The Festival will also feature family entertainment including stage-led activities, Indigenous performances and storytelling, music, street theatre, local Indigenous art, and junior league clinics run by Rugby League’s One Community ambassadors including David Peachey and Rhys Wesser.

“Each year we try to bring the community fresh and exciting elements to the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars Week, and the All Stars Festival aims to do just that,” NRL Commercial Director, Mr Paul Kind, said.

“Ten percent of NRL players have Indigenous heritage and we know this figure is much higher at a grass roots level and across our supporters in the greater Rugby League community.

“This Festival looks to celebrate the participation of Indigenous people at all levels of the game, while at the same time reinforcing the commitment All Stars makes to Indigenous Australia.

The NRL is working with the QRL, CRL, NSWRL and ARL Indigenous Council to coordinate the event.   

Entry to the Learn Earn Legend! Job Expo and the All Stars Festival is free with a $10 entry fee to the Murri versus Koori game.

The 2012 All Stars Festival

When

10am – 5pm; Friday, February 3, 2012

What

Learn Earn Legend! Jobs Expo

Entertainment including local Indigenous arts, crafts and music

One Community Clinics

2012 Indigenous All Stars jersey presentation by Preston Campbell with on-stage interviews

Where          �

Burleigh Bears Junior League Ovals, 80 Pacific Highway Miami, QLD 4220

Who

Rugby League One Community Ambassadors: David Peachey, Luke Covell, Shaun Timmins, Adam MacDougall, Rhys Wesser, Alan Tongue,

the 2012 Indigenous All Stars team and Preston Campbell (from 5pm)

Tickets

Admission is free

 

2012 Murri v Koori Match

When

Friday, February 3, 2012
Gates open 6pm for 7:30pm kick off

Where

Burleigh Bears’ Bob Singh Oval 80 Pacific Highway Miami, QLD 4220.

What

QAIHC Southern Dingoes (QLD) and the Mindaribba Warriors (NSW) will face off State of Origin style in the Murri v Koori match

Tickets

Ticketing details to be released shortly