Indigenous Communities celebrate QLD and NSW competitions
Up to 50,000 people will descend on two regional communities in Queensland and New South Wales this week as rugby league players and fans participate in two Indigenous competitions.
The Queensland Murri Carnival is in its fourth year and is hosted annually by the Arthur Beetson Foundation. This year's carnival will take place at the home of the Redcliffe Dolphins from 1-4 October.
The New South Wales Aboriginal Knockout is in its 45th year and is held over the October long weekend each year, with the venue dependent on the previous year's winning team. This year's event will be held in Dubbo from 2-5 October.
Both carnivals hold competitions for men, women and youth, with a record number of participants competing and attending this year's carnivals. There are 132 teams registered for the NSW event, whilst 56 teams will compete in Queensland.
Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council Chair, Linda Burney MP, said the importance of the carnivals to Indigenous communities was significant.
"The carnivals not only provide a platform for entertaining rugby league, but also a place for families to gather, reunite as a community and commemorate past glories," Ms Burney said.
General Manager of Community, Culture and Diversity, Mark Deweerd, said both carnivals are a celebration of everything wonderful about Indigenous culture.
"The carnivals are also a chance for our NRL community to promote positive health and wellbeing messages and encourage participants and fans to continue to make a positive difference and impact in their own lives and in the lives of others," Mr Deweerd said.
In the past, NRL Indigenous players have been involved in the carnivals, with St George Illawarra star and Walgett born legend George Rose expected to lead the 2014 champions, Walgett Aboriginal Connection, in their NSW title defence.