Celebrating sport and cultural heritage this NAIDOC Week
Bringing together a rich cultural heritage and passion for football, the 2023 International Festival of Indigenous Football was an amazing celebration for the league during NAIDOC Week!
Held from 28th June and 10th July, the International Festival of Indigenous Football saw the New Zealand Maori Football Aotearoa (MFA) teams compete against the men’s Australian Indigenousroos and the women’s Australian Indigenous Koalas national football teams in three international tests across south east Queensland.
Kicking goals and celebrating the future of football in Australian and New Zealand’s Indigenous communities, the festival also signified a landmark football treaty signed between the two countries, promoting mutual recognition and collaboration.
Off the field, the MFA delegation, which included Maori leaders, performers, and elite footballers, embraced the spirit of unity, respect and cultural exchange, enjoying a NAIDOC Fun Day in Kabi Kabi (Deception Bay) Fun Day, a visit to Quandamooka (North Stradbroke Island) for a cultural experience, as well as attending the Redlands NAIDOC Day.
Players immersed themselves in a visit to North Palm Beach – Yugambeh, for a dream-time story, travelled to Kabi kabi and Jinibara for men and women’s business, and joined in a Gold Coast song and dance activity with the Torres Strait Islander community.
Facilitated by Indigenous management company Naree Event Management, the festival was made possible by the football treaty and the collaborative efforts of various Indigenous organizations.
Lendlease is proud to have supported this fantastic community event.