Historic Week at Caboolture FC
It was a landmark occasion in Indigenous football and Brisbane Football history last week, as Caboolture FC played host to National Reconciliation Week celebrations.
Spearheaded by Nathan Walker, coach of the Caboolture men’s team and Brisbane Warrigals Indigenous representative side, the events were based on the theme of ‘Don’t Keep History a Mystery’, with players and supporters from all backgrounds uniting to develop a deeper shared understanding about Indigenous culture and heritage.
“I was pretty honoured to be a part of it,” said Walker, who belongs to the Nunukal people of Stradbroke Island.
“Sport’s given me a great sense of identity, so I’ve always wanted to give that opportunity to others.”
Members of the Warrigals met with Caboolture players throughout the week to promote the event, which took place on Saturday against the backdrop of regular season fixtures.
The gazebo set up amongst the playing fields attracted many children and adults as result of the huge Aboriginal flag. While admiring the Indigenous art display and face painting taking place, people shared stories about their indigenous background. An amazing community coming together was visualised by the decorated hands being put on the wall of the clubhouse as well as many people and players wearing wrist bands with the motto ‘Don’t Keep History a Mystery’.
Before the men’s game against Pine Rivers kicked off, a welcome to country was delivered by Christine Stuart, while the didgeridoo was played by Michael Connolly, and Morayfield State MP Mark Ryan gave a speech.
“This is the first time that a football club has formally been part of Reconciliation Week,” Ryan said.
“Caboolture is a club very proud of its history and culture.”
“Australia has the oldest living, continuous cultures in the world, which is something to be very proud of, and Reconciliation Week is a very important event to celebrate.”
Walker also made a presentation before the match of Caboolture’s specially-designed Indigenous-themed jersey.
“Everyone did their part for the day, and a lot of people came up and thanked me and the crew for helping to raise awareness and bring people together.”
“I would like to see this celebration as an annual event, and I’ve had a couple of people already put their hands up to help out so hopefully we can keep it going well into the future.”
It was a triumphant ending to the day with Caboolture continuing their strong start to the Capital League 1 season, beating Pine Rivers 5-1.
The win puts them into third place, and with four games in hand over ladder-leaders Toowong, Walker is confident of going all the way.
“The way we’ve been playing is exactly how we’ve been training and how we played in the pre-season, so I’m not really surprised at our results so far,” he said.
“Everyone at the club has had the goal of getting into the Premier League, but I’ve told the players that there’s no pressure, and if we keep doing what we’re doing and taking it 45 minutes at a time we should be able to get there.”
Mark’s Man of the Match went to Cameron Scott, who scored a hat trick, with goals also scored by Ethan Wilson and Michael McEvoy.