Celebrating Sir Doug Nicholls round in Queensland

The culture and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to our game is celebrated across Queensland as part of the Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

From the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS, who will play home games this weekend, to local football clubs across the state, the round marks a major event on the football calendar.

This year, the 2022 Sir Doug Nicholls Round coincides with the 30th anniversary of the landmark 1992 Mabo decision, in which Australia’s High Court recognized the traditional ownership of land and country by Aboriginal and Australian Islander peoples. Torres Strait, and that ‘terra nullius’ should not have been applied to Australia.

A significant moment in recognizing the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the AFL recognizes the legacy of Torres Strait Islander leader Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo and the 1992 Mabo decision as part of the celebrations of the round.

Locally, an important part of celebrations in Queensland is using the round as an educational vehicle.

AFL Queensland has continued its work with community clubs to combat racism. Campaign Stops With Me. The pledge, which aims to promote a clear understanding in the AFL community of what racism is and how it can be prevented and reduced.

Learn more about our commitment to racism. It stops with me here;

Be in line with all AFLQ senior competitions; AFL Townsville, AFL Mackay, AFL Capricornia, AFL Wide Bay, AFL Darling Downs and all QFA competitions, as well as QAFL and Bond University QAFLW, Sir Doug Nicholls Round is officially held for the first time at the McDonalds South East Queensland juniors competition , which has more than 15,000 participants from Gympie to Ballina.

In addition, the ‘Indigenous Guide to Community Football’ has been developed to help clubs understand and participate in the Sir Doug Nicholls Round, while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are incorporated onto the pitch on the pitches. matches instead of the goal flags that the Goal Referees will use.

Many clubs have commissioned artists, sometimes players or officials from their club, to design special guernseys featuring indigenous artwork to commemorate the round. Here are the stories behind a few;

Broadbeach Cats, QAFL

Designed by local artist and traditional custodian Luther Cora of the Yugambeh Language group. The Guernsey design represents the saltwater people who live sustainably in the sea and the rivers, streams and waterways, collecting and harvesting oysters.

Alex Hills Bombers, South Brisbane

Designed by Aboriginal artist Jared Coolwell, the artwork depicts North Stradbroke Island’s Kabul totem pole (carpet snake) surrounding a camp with its 22-player team. The footprints, lines and dots represent the path your team walks together, traveling through each of the four goal posts. The Club pays tribute to the Nunukul, Gorenpul and Nughi peoples of the Quandamooka nation in which the club resides.

Moranbah Bulldogs, Mackay

Designed by Maria Rose, a woman from Pitjantjatjara and Luritja and with members of her family with her heritage from Moa Island in the Torres Strait Island. Spearheads used in battle and for survival moving in opposite directions showing where they land are often unexpected. The shark teeth between the spearheads represent power and strength. The Dhoeri (headdress) is a symbol of the Torres Strait Islanders and is worn in cultural ceremonies and dances. The five-pointed star symbolizes peace. Blue represents the water provided by Mother Nature, while the fish and kangaroo symbols are nature. The design recognizes the Barada Barna People as the Traditional Owners and their totem.


Like the Broadbeach Cats, the SUNS have worked in collaboration with Yugambeh artist Luther Cora from the Gold Coast and Larrakia artist Trent Lee from Darwin on their 2022 indigenous Guernsey that they will wear in Darwin when they take on Hawthorn. The Guernsey features two distinct animals that represent the regions they are native to; a crocodile to represent the Northern Territory and an eagle to indicate the Gold Coast.

brisbane lions

In Gabba, the Brisbane Lions take on GWS in their 2022 indigenous guernsey designed by Darryl White, Triple Premiership Player and Proud Eastern Arrernte Man. The Guernsey is a representation of both Darryl’s heritage and the rich history of the Brisbane Lions , including the merger of the Brisbane Bears and the Fitzroy Lions 25 years ago and a depiction of the 20 years since the triumphant Premiership victory in 2002. The design features lion and bear tracks collected on the three local grounds: Turrbal and Yuggera, Yugambeh and Wurundjeri country (The Gabba, Carrara and Brunswick St Oval), along with the names of indigenous AFL players and coaches who have represented the Cub with dignity and pride. including Ringo Hood, who coached Fitzroy before the merger and is one of the few indigenous coaches involved in the AFL.

As part of the NAB AFL Halftime Auskick at the Gabba tomorrow, the Auskickers will wear a special indigenous Guernsey designed by former Brisbane Lions and Hawthorn Hawks player and proud Kooma/Kunja man, Rhan Hooper. Guernsey’s design is called ‘The Spirit of Footy’; symbolizing people from different cultures and communities coming together as one from all walks of life to share our great game.

AFL Queensland Diversity Coordinator Peter Yagmoor said: “The Sir Doug Nicholls Round is an extremely special and important round on the AFL Queensland calendar and something we are very proud of.

“Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have come through our AFL systems and it is an opportunity to celebrate them, but also to celebrate the people who are still involved in the game.

“Our educational sessions are very important to our community clubs – with so many people coming through the doors, it’s an opportunity for them to learn and engage about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The main message is to remove racism from the game.

“Hopefully the players; Young and old, they can go back to their families and also educate them about what they have learned in the sessions.”

Photo above by Bond University.

Photos below of the entire terrain:

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