The NDRL Indigenous All Stars will take on the NDRL All Stars with special jerseys designed by local First Nations artist Chern’ee Sutton for the match which will close out the 2021 season.
Chern’ee has previously designed jersey for the NRL All Stars and she said it was exciting to see one of her designs donned on players on home soil.
“It’s one thing to see a jersey worn in one of the big stadiums, but it’s another to see my design used in my local community,” Chern’ee said.
“It’s fantastic and so special to have it here.”
The 24-year-old said the painting was called Yaunati which meant to grow big in Kalkadoon language, and it represented the life of a sea turtle.
“The painting itself represents the Bundaberg Region, and as the game coincides with the start of turtle season, it’s definitely a little more special.
“Fingers crossed the Indigenous team come away with the win.”
Northern Districts Rugby League chairperson Robert Redfern said Evolution Mining had contacted the committee asking to hold an all-star match to show support for the smaller communities in the area.
Robert said the players had embraced the idea of an All Star game, and it was during the last training session when it had all finally sunk it.
“The players are proud to take part in the inaugural event, and they are all amazed, well actually a little bewildered as it sinks in where this has come from and what it means,” Robert said.
“Both captains are outstanding, we have Phillip Lindsay for the Indigenous All Stars, and I can tell you that you won’t get a more passionate player.
“Then there is Glen Cox for the non-Indigenous side, he has been around forever, he leads by example. At the end of each season you think he will retire, but he seems to find another pair of boots each year.”
Robert said both teams were committed to the task to deliver what the game was about.
“Evolution contacted us with a concept surrounding reconciliation, to help spread the message through the community,” Robert said.
“There will be a smoking ceremony and the players will run out through the smoke to start the game.
“The momentum we have had for this competition is enormous and we are all really looking forward to it.
“I think this is probably the first time in the Wide Bay, and definitely for the NDRL, to hold such an event.
“We’ve had a design by local Indigenous artist Chern’ee made for the Indigenous All Stars side.”
NDRL All Stars match an easy choice for Evolution Mining
Evolution Mining sustainability superintendent Paul Wright said they were excited about sponsoring the inaugural event, and they hoped it would become an annual showcase event for the region.
“We believe this sporting event is a great opportunity to build on the positive relationships within (the) community and demonstrate true reconciliation across the region and showcase some of the local sporting talent,” Paul said.
“Evolution Mining approached the Northern Districts Rugby League if they would be interested in holding an Allstars game. Neil and the team, along with the QRL welcomed the idea, and so the planning began.
“This is an All Stars game, meaning the coaches get to select the best of the best players within the district and those that demonstrate the qualities they are looking for, such as good participation in training and a commitment to the team and the community.
“The main game is the Men’s All Stars Game, which is between the NDRL All-Stars team and the Indigenous All-Stars team.”
Paul said Gin Gin set the perfect location for the NDRL All Star event, and he hoped the community would come down and enjoy the games.
“The grounds at Gin Gin are in excellent condition and has the capacity for a night game under lights,” he said.
“Gin Gin is location just 50km from our gold mining operation near Mt Perry and is the centre of the northern districts and so it made sense for this to be the location of choice.”
There will be a Women’s League Tag Club match followed by the men’s All Stars match.
“The hope is that if the event is a success, then this could become an annual showcase event,” Paul said.
“This is a free event and open to the community. This will be a family friendly event with pre-game entertainment, cultural dancing, face painting and jumping castles for the kids.”
The NDRL All Stars game will be held at Gin Gin Football ground, on 4 September with gates opening at 3pm.
Indigenous All Stars squad
- South Kolan
- Phillip Lindsay
- Darren Broome
- Jamie Morey
- Jackson Brown
- Jake Evans
- Aidan Chapman
- Chris Chapman
- Montgomery Chapman Dynevor
- Cem Rohdmann
- Keith Wuruki
- Braedyn Terare
- Billy Dau
- Samson Dau
- Muthuna Jones
- Jack West Combo
- Gin Gin
- Matthew Lawton
- Matthew Peachey
- Damien Eggmolesse
- Dion Fisher
- Justin Johnson
- Mitchell Hazzard
- Graham Jones
All Stars squad
- South Kolan
- Connor Cole
- Kyle Groves
- Jacob Olive
- Matthew Evans
- Miriam Vale
- Brandon Hornby
- Maverick Sypher
- Charles Hopf
- Glenn Cox
- Cole Crawford
- Gin Gin
- Mathew Collier
- Brody Orpin
- Connor Boon
- Dylan Wagner
- Alex Gardner
- Frank Primavera
- Brendan Prossliner
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