Today, Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) has undertaken the first step in celebrating and recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the football community through the introduction of the inaugural RTC Group Indigenous Round to be held 28 – 30 May 2021 – an initiative presented to NNSWF by RTC Group Founding Director and Executive Chairman, Richard Claut.
Timed to coincide on the weekend in the middle of National Reconciliation Week 2021, (27 May – 3 June) RTC Group Indigenous Round will be celebrated across all Northern NSW Football (soccer) competitions.
Northern NSW Football CEO David Eland said this is Northern NSW Football’s first step towards connecting with the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and diverse history.
“The purpose of the inaugural Indigenous Round is to provide the football community with an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the contribution and participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout our game in northern NSW.
“Northern NSW Football acknowledges that we haven’t been proactive in this regard despite the geographic spread and significant representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within our jurisdiction.
“Our Strategic Plan identifies the goal of ensuring the game is inclusive and accessible by addressing the barriers to initial participation as well as equipping clubs to provide safe and enjoyable football experiences for their local communities – this is just a start.”
In addition to hosting RTC Group Indigenous Round, Northern NSW Football will also highlight and interview key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants and leaders during Reconciliation Week.
“We encourage our Member Zones and Clubs throughout northern NSW to do the same and will be providing a suite of materials to assist.”
Eland reaffirms this is just the first of many initiatives which aims to ensure the State’s largest sport is more inclusive.
“With the help of our partner RTC Group and key Indigenous leaders within the sport, we’ve already identified a number of opportunities which will be implemented over coming months.
“We aim to provide support to Indigenous players, coaches and match officials to reach their potential by breaking down barriers.
RTC Group Founding Director and Executive Chairman, Richard Claut said his organisation (RTC Group) had a passion for assisting the underrepresented achieve their goals.
“An integral part of RTC Group’s business plan has always been (and continues to be) to reinvest into, and partner with the local community.
“RTC have a proud history of supporting local sportspeople, community groups, teams and associations, thus becoming a valued member of the communities in which, we work.
“Our vision is to weave RTC Group and our people into communities through giving back to those who need a helping hand – this partnership with Northern NSW Football is allowing us to do this in a very tangible way.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Northern NSW Football in this space and look forward to upcoming announcements,” said Claut.
Eland concluded that NNSWF is looking forward to continuing to invest and build upon our commitment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community with the support of RTC Group.
Together, Northern NSW Football, RTC Group, Bounce Design, Indigenous Artists Casey and Tia Manton and Initial Consultation Group collaborated to develop a logo (above) which while working in with the corporate assets of Northern NSW Football, reflects and upholds the values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across northern NSW.
Colours used throughout the artwork in the centre of the logo are representative of the varied earth and land throughout Australia: red, orange and yellow reflecting the different earth and soils while green represents the land.
The inspiration was drawn from the 2021 NAIDOC Week theme Heal Country – which in July calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
The linework of leaves represents the leaves and grass of the land, while the line work passing behind the ball symbolises traveling and the journey in which Northern NSW Football is taking in acknowledging and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the sport.