On Saturday 23 July we held our inaugural Indigenous Round. This initiative has been several years in the making with COVID disrupting our plans to hold the event in prior years and will be an annual fixture for our Club.
Off field we hosted VIPs including local council, state and federal representatives, Hockey Victoria and our Sponsors, a Welcome to Country smoking ceremony conducted by Uncle Bill, an Indigenous touch to the canteen menu (wattle-seed hot chocolate, kangaroo sausages, indigenous sauces) and a “dot painting” colouring competition for the kids.
Diana Hansen, Chair of the Diversity, Inclusion & Welfare Committee kicked off the day and Caley Manzie, Club player and proud Noongar woman, welcomed all attendees with an Acknowledgement of Country prior to the Women’s Premier League Reserves game.
Caley shared with us her passion for making Indigenous Round happen at Waverley HC, “My mob is from Ballardong and Whadjuk part of the Noongar Nations located where Perth is. Country is a spiritual and sacred place where I feel closest to my culture and people. I grew up in Wurundjeri Country where the Boon Wurrung People of the Eastern Kulin Nations are the Traditional Custodians – the same land that Waverley Hockey Club is situated. The Indigenous Round at Waverley has been something I have wanted to happen for many years and hope to see the broader hockey community get involved with. It is important to acknowledge and pay our respects to our First Nations Peoples, especially the Elders that continues to share their story and knowledge with future mob. I’m super excited to share my culture with my hockey club and to have it celebrated
amongst a diverse group of peoples.”
Prior to the Women’s Premier League game Local Elder, Uncle Bill joined us for the Welcome to Country. Uncle Bill explained the history of the land on which we train and play and spoke with great passion of his heritage, asking us to be aware of this history and to respect the people and cultures that have come before us, whilst also acknowledging the true multi-cultural community that lives, plays and works on this land today. Uncle Bill taught us local words and explained the history and meaning of the smoking ceremony, used to welcome new people to their land and to send people safely onto their endeavours. He invited the Waverley and Hawthorn Premier League and Reserves players to move through the smoke first, followed by the crowd that had gathered to share this wonderful Welcome to Country experience. We thank Uncle Bill for providing us this unique opportunity to learn about the history of the land on which we train and play, and for challenging us to reflect upon how we will continue to honour that heritage.
On field our Premier League and Premier League Reserve players wore socks in the colours of the Aboriginal flag and a special playing top designed by Contemporary Aboriginal Artist, Kamilya Lowana. Kamilya explained the story of her work, “This artwork celebrates the Waverley Hockey Club, their traditions and many cultures. A number of ‘people symbols’ are depicted honouring each individual’s journey that has ultimately led them towards the meeting place
within the centre, representing the Club. The varied shades are a tribute to the diversity within the club and beyond.” The hockey (vs Hawthorn Hockey Club) was hotly contested with Premier League Women drawing 2-2, Women’s Reserves losing 1-2, Men’s Reserves winning 2-0
and Premier league Men winning 4-2.
Thank you to our special guests who joined us on the day including the Federal MP for Chisholm, Ms Carina Garland, State MP for Mt Waverley, Mr Matthew Fregon, the City of Monash Mayor, Mr Stuart James, the Liberal member for Ashwood, Asher Judah, Nicky Kenyon, Director Bendigo Bank, Shaun Dooley, Chair of the Hockey Victoria board, and Hawthorn HC President Jeremy Harris. Thank you also to our funding bodies and sponsors that generously made donations to make this round possible, Bendigo Bank, Kookaburra, Just Hockey and the City of Monash that awarded the club with a community grant towards the organisation
of this round.
Finally, a massive thank you to all involved in arranging the day, but especially Diana Hansen Chair of the Diversity, Inclusion & Welfare Committee whose tireless commitment to the day ensured its success, and to her committee Erica Zhou and Caley Manzie.