Roberts' special Indigenous tribute
Brisbane speedster James Roberts has received a special honour ahead of the Broncos' Indigenous match on Friday night, with the star centre set to don a special pair of boots to signify the importance of Indigenous health.
The NRL Indigenous Round took part in Round 10 of this season but Brisbane didn't have a home game that week, therefore the club has decided to make Friday's clash with the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium a special occasion that will coincide with NAIDOC Week.
NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements, and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our society.
This upcoming match day event is part of the Broncos' premier partnership with Deadly Choices, an initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, with the program aiming to promote a healthy lifestyle for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This partnership with the Broncos has achieved great improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health checks in South East Queensland (SEQ) through the 18 Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) in the region.
Health checks will have risen by over 200 per cent at the end of this year from the commencement of the initiative with the Broncos that started in 2013.
To honour this achievement, Brisbane NRL players will wear Indigenous socks inspired by Deadly Choices for the duration of Friday's match.
But it will be Roberts's boots that will steal the show, with the Nike pair being painted by former Bronco Sid Domic, comprising of artwork that signifies the 'Journey of Health'.
Roberts said he is proud to wear the one of a kind boots, and he hopes Brisbane fans turn out for the occasion.
"Obviously it is a special night to play in a game like this where we celebrate the start of NAIDOC Week with an Indigenous match," Roberts said.
"To wear a pair of boots that have been specially painted to honour our Indigenous heritage is great.
"That they were painted by a former Broncos player in Sid Domic also means a lot.
"It is going to be a really big game and a special occasion, so the Broncos will be aiming to turn it on for all the fans."
A lot of thought has gone into the design of the boots Roberts will wear, with the artwork designed to recognise the role and impact of community networks in the Indigenous health care system.
A number of aspects of the design have real-life representations - the red circle represents the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, with reference to the Deadly Choices Kangaroo print.
The black dots on the inner side of the shoes symbolise the communities serviced by the AMS and the black dots on the outside of the shoe represent the four partner services Kalwun, Kambu, Yulu-Burri-Ba and ATSICHS.
The black lines in between the communities and the services represent how communities benefit from these community-controlled health services with services like general practice medical support, allied and clinical health services, and chronic disease prevention and management programs like Deadly Choices and Work It Out.
These boots are just one aspect of a night that promises to be very special as the Broncos honour the Indigenous Australians that have made our game great.