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Coburg Lions Football Club connecting to the Moreland community

Coburg Lions Football Club connecting to the Moreland community

In June 2016 the Coburg Lions Football Club found a passionate ambassador for reconciliation in their own ranks, Julio Estorninho.NAIDOC team photo

Julio, a member of Coburg Football Club, understands the importance of the club connecting to community.

“As a standalone club in the VFL, the club do not rely on the AFL, and do not have income streams such as pokies. To survive the club needs to make sure it's relevant and connected to the wider community of Moreland”.

Julio approached the club with the idea of celebrating NAIDOC Week in the first week of July 2016 with the idea of the club connecting with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of the northern suburbs.NAIDOC event coin toss

“This proposal was received enthusiastically and I was more than happy to take on the responsibility of organising the event with the knowledge that I had the full support of the club.”

Julio than applied for a NAIDOC grant to cover the cost of a Wurundjeri Elder performing a Welcome to Country. He also organised Jim Poulter from Marngrook in Mainstream to provide a Marngrook demonstration at half time. Julio also organised for NAIDOC promotional material from the NAIDOC Committee to hand out on the day.

Additional promotional material was provided by Moreland City Council including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. Council also assisted in promoting the event on the website and through social media. This led to the event being promoted on the Active Moreland website as well as piece on the Humans of Moreland social media post. Julio also heavily promoted the event on the NAIDOC website.Welcome to Country

Julio also suggested to have a special NAIDOC Week jumper for the day and organised for the Marngrook Footy Show to advertise for Indigenous artists to send in their designs. The club settled on Marngrook Footy Show presenter Shelley Ware's design. These jumpers were auctioned off after the game.

As well as promoting the match, Marngrook Footy Show also did their Footy Yarns segment at the match, again promoting the club's vision of connecting with community. During NAIDOC Week, Julio attended various NAIDOC functions, promoting the match. He organised 300 free passes to be printed, and handed out to various youth hostels in the northern suburbs, (William Burt, Gladys Nicholls, Margaret Tucker and William T Onus).

“The day was a complete success, attracting one of the biggest attendances of the year. The club was nominated for, and was awarded the City of Moreland's Lisa Bellear Award for Contributions to Reconciliation Activities 2016. The club looks forward to building on the relationships made with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander community.”NAIDOC jumper

Julio hopes that this story will inspire other sporting teams to connect to the community by celebrating NAIDOC Week.

For more information:

Marngrook in Mainstream  

Mangrook Footy Show 

Coburg Lions Football Club

Wurundjeri Tribe – Traditional Owners of Moreland 

NAIDOC Week – First week of July

Reconciliation Week - 27 May and 3 June