Football Federation Australia (FFA) has expressed its commitment towards a new era of Indigenous football in light of NAIDOC Week and Indigenous Football Week 2020.
The recently concluded NAIDOC Week and Indigenous Football Week celebrated the history, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Australian society.
“In the XI Principles for the future of Australian football we recognise that our Indigenous heritage must be a critical component of Australian football’s identity and story, the need for clearer pathways, and to create more opportunities for Indigenous players, coaches and administrators to play and be involved in football,” FFA Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson said.
“It’s key that FFA becomes a leader in the Indigenous space. As part of the consultation process for the XI Principles, we have spoken with the Indigenous community over the past four months.
“One of the concrete outcomes of that process will be appointment of a National Indigenous Manager in the first quarter of 2021.”
FFA’s commitment to Indigenous football is strengthened with news that Football Queensland (FQ) has shown its support to a new showcase of Indigenous football and culture that be part of an exciting triple-header in Redcliffe on 27 February 2021.
Men’s and women’s teams made up of Indigenous players from across the nation will be the feature, taking on event hosts Peninsula Power FC in two exhibition matches at AJ Kelly Park.
FQ have officially endorsed the sanctioned event and will supply match officials for both games, as well as a curtain raiser involving Peninsula’s masters team and the South Coast Jummalungs – an Over 35s side from New South Wales.
The event has also been endorsed by Football West (FW) and Football Northern Territory (FNT).
“Events such as these add to the fabric of our football community,” Johnson said.
“FFA joins our Member Federations in endorsing this event, which has been sanctioned by Football Queensland, and congratulates everyone involved with its establishment. I understand that some high-profile former Socceroos and Australian youth internationals of Indigenous heritage will be involved with the event, which will also include football clinics and a showcase of First Nations culture through football.”
FFA Head of Game Development Sarah Walsh welcomed FFA’s Indigenous football developments.
“We are fully focused on embedding Indigenous football into everything that we do with the goal of increasing Indigenous participation in our game at both the elite and community levels,” Walsh said.
“From Harry Williams, John Moriarty and Karen Menzies, to Jade North, Lydia Williams and Kyah Simon, our game has been blessed with the talents of incredible Indigenous and First Nations footballers.
“To provide the opportunity for the next generation to continue this tradition and to strengthen Indigenous participation at all levels of the game, we need to create stronger pathways and ensure they are integrated seamlessly into our current development system.
“We want to continue to partner with great organisations like John Moriarty Football and events such as the one being held in Queensland in February as we build a pathway that takes into account the varied experiences of Indigenous peoples,” she said.
Johnson, Walsh and National Technical Director Trevor Morgan all recently attended John Moriarty Football’s Indigenous Football Week Gala Day at their Dubbo hub. The event wrapped up a week of celebrations for JMF and the FFA.
Photo credit: Football Federation Australia.