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Sunday, June 20, 2021

AFL Canberra celebrates Sir Doug Nicholls Round

Australian Football Clubs across Canberra will be holding significant events this weekend to help acknowledge Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Sir Doug Nicholls Round is recongised from the elite level to grassroots and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and contribution to Australian Football. AFL Canberra is proud that clubs in the region are helping their players and communities engage across all levels.

The Weston Creek Wildcats and Marist AFC will both commemorate the round this weekend, while ANU Griffiths and Tuggeranong Valley AFC have already held events.

In 2021, Sir Doug Nicholls Round formally takes place from 24 May to 6 June with the theme being Our Legacy – This is Us.

AFL NSW/ACT Indigenous Ambassadors, GWS Giants forward Jeremy Finlayson and Sydney Swans livewire James Bell are both looking forward to the round and pleased that it extends to community footy’s grassroots.

Finlayson takes extra motivation from Sir Doug Nicholls after discovering he is related to the Indigenous footballer, pastor, activist and governor.

“When I think of Sir Doug Nicholls Round I genuinely get goose-bumps,” said Finlayson.

“This year though is even more exciting as I found out from my Dad’s cousin that I am related to Sir Doug so the round has a greater significance.

“He is such an inspiration and I can’t wait to get out there and play.”

Bell said it was great to see so many communities coming together to celebrate the occasion.

“My dad’s side is Aboriginal, my mum’s side is Scottish, so I’ve got a different mix there,” said Bell

“My Aboriginal heritage is from the south coast of NSW all the way up to Kempsey and the Bellbrook area.

“It’s great to see so many community clubs getting around Sir Doug Nicholls Round and celebrating the contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island players have on the game.”

Finlayson and the Giants take on the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Saturday afternoon and will be wearing their Indigenous Jersey designed by small forward Bobby Hill.

Bell has been named on the Swans extended bench for their match against the Carlton Blues on Sunday where they will wear an Indigenous Jersey designed by Cheryl Davison.

Here are the significant events being held by the clubs on match days to celebrate Sir Doug Nicholls:

Weston Creek Wildcats – 29/30 May

  • The club will wear a commemorative guernsey
  • There will be a smoking ceremony and acknowledgement of country at matches
  • A local Indigenous person will come to the club for an education session
  • Hold a fundraiser
  • Asking players to speak about what Sir Doug Nicholls Round means to them

Marist AFC – 29 May

  • The club will wear a commemorative guernsey
  • There will be a smoking ceremony and acknowledgement of country at matches

These clubs have already held Sir Doug Nicholls Round activations in 2021:

ANU Griffins

  • Arranged a pre-match Welcome to Country and speech from an Elder in the Indigenous community

Tuggeranong Valley AFC

  • All senior sides wore commemorative Indigenous guernseys
  • Pre-match Welcome to Country and smoking ceremonies held

For more:

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