The first Australian Indigenous Football Championships set for kick-off

The Australian Indigenous Football Championships will get underway on Wednesday 7 November, 2018, with Indigenous footballers from around the country descending on Logan City in SE Queensland for the first edition of the tournament. 

The opening ceremony will be hosted at Brisbane Roar FC’s training facility at Logan Metro Sports Park, and will feature up to 100 Indigenous coaches, team managers, physios and captains, together with sponsors and Indigenous leaders and performers. 

Representatives from over 60 Indigenous communities are among the 26 teams registered to take part from New South Wales, Northern Territory and Queensland, with senior football administrators also in attendance from South Australia and Western Australia. 

Co-directors of the Australian Indigenous Football Championships (AIFC) Lawrence Gilbert and Ramone Close believe that Australia’s premier Indigenous footballing event could unveil potential future stars of the Hyundai A-League. 

Gilbert said, “If we can create an opportunity for one kid then that would be fantastic and be a dream come true for me. One of the tournament objectives was to increase football’s participation in Aboriginal communities by giving youngsters a reason to play football – I believe we will achieve this."

Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chief Executive David Gallop congratulated the AIFC for organising this inaugural event and for gathering such broad support for the tournament. 

“Lawrence and his team have worked extremely hard to get ready for the first Australian Indigenous Football Championships, building a great partnership with football stakeholders Brisbane Roar FC, Football Queensland and Football Brisbane. 

“FFA looks forward to the delivery of a first class event, and congratulates the AIFC for providing such a great opportunity to showcase the talents of Indigenous footballers".

The Johnny Warren Football Foundation will also support the tournament with a Reconciliation match between the Indigenous community and the Queensland Police.  

Gilbert said, “Football has the special and magical ability to bring people together and build bridges where relationships in the past may have broken down. The tournament turns players into role models.

 “When they go back to their communities where they are from, Arnhem Land, Darwin, remote Queensland, urban NSW and Western NSW, they will go back and set new goals such as education attainment and healthy lifestyles.” 

The action will take place over 3 days from 8 to 10 November, and at the concluding presentation function, Indigenous men’s and women’s representative teams will be announced to participate at next year’s Arafura Games. 

For more information, please contact:
Lawrence Gilbert, Co-Director, Australian Indigenous Football Championships, mob (0431) 735 705