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Former AFL Aboriginal champions recognised at All-Stars clash.



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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission

Media Releases

Former AFL Aboriginal champions recognised at All-Stars clash

7/2/2003

Former VFL/AFL Aboriginal champions will be paid a special tribute at tomorrow’s clash between the ATSIC Chairman’s All-Stars and the Carlton Football Club at Marrara Oval.

ATSIC Chairman, Geoff Clark said ATSIC and the AFLNT have organised a motorcade for the former champions as part of the pre-match entertainment to the ATSIC Chairman’s All-Stars versus Carlton clash.

“We see this as a unique opportunity for the wider community of Darwin to show their appreciation for the wonderful contribution these great players have made to Australian Football,” Chairman Geoff Clark said.

“I’m delighted these players will be thanked for their efforts at Saturday’s clash, and it should be pointed out that the majority of these players are from the Northern Territory which has a great tradition of supplying the AFL with top class Aboriginal footballers.”

The players to take part in the motorcade include: Maurice Rioli (Richmond), Syd Jackson (Carlton), Michael Long (Essendon), Michael McLean (Western Bulldogs/Brisbane), Chris Lewis (West Coast), Russell Jeffrey (St Kilda/Brisbane), Fabian Francis (Melbourne/Brisbane/Port Adelaide), Gilbert McAdam (St Kilda/Brisbane), Robert Ahmat (Collingwood/Sydney), Mark West (Western Bulldogs), Rueben Cooper (South Melbourne), Brian Stanislaus (Sydney), Gary Dhurrkay (Fremantle/Kangaroos), Adam Kerinaiua (Brisbane), Robert Jones (St Kilda), Shawn Lew Fatt (Essendon), Matthew Ahmat (Brisbane/Sydney), Warren Campbell (Kangaroos), Fred Campbell (Sydney/St Kilda), Shannon Rusca (Brisbane/Western Bulldogs), Greg McAdam (St Kilda), Adrian McAdam (Kangaroos), Kevin Caton (West Coast/Fitzroy/Brisbane).

Mr Clark said he is also looking forward to the half-time spectacle of “Marn Grook” - or “game of ball”, which many believe to be the inspiration for Australian Rules Football.

“Indigenous footballers have a long and proud history of involvement in Australia’s greatest game, but few people would know Australian Rules originated from Mark Grook.”

“Marn Grook was originally played as a celebration of the players’ talents, and is thought by many to have influenced Thomas Wills, the founding father of Australian Rules Football.

“Wills played with, and spoke the language of, the children from the Tjapwurrung tribe on his family’s property in southwest Victoria in the mid-1850s.”

For more information: Giuseppe Stramandinoli (ATSIC Victoria Public Affairs) on 0419 508 125 or

David Liddle (ATSIC Northern Territory) on 0418 246 284.

www.atsic.gov.au