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Tour 2016 - a traditional welcome at special event

Posted on 28 July 2016  - 12:07

Our players were treated to a traditional welcome by the Indigenous community at a coaching clinic in Melbourne on Thursday.

Lads together with the youngsters from the Indigenous communityThe smoking ceremonyLads applaud after the smoke ceremonyRyan joins inLads sign autographsRyan on the ballWill MillerRyan and Tom CarrollChristian speaks to the press

Tom Carroll, Marcus Edwards, Christian Eriksen, Ryan Mason, Will Miller, Kyle Walker-Peters and Kevin Wimmer joined our Global Coaching team for the session with over 50 young people from the Indigenous community at Albert Cricket Club.

Ahead of proceedings, Aunty Carolyn Briggs, respected elder of the Indigenous community in Melbourne, gave a speech, opening with the words 'womin djeka mirambeek beek', translated as 'welcome to our beautiful home'.

 


Jaeden Williams conducted a traditional smoking ceremony - an ancient custom among Indigenous Australians - and Brent Watkins played the didgeridoo.

The players joined in with the coaching, played matches and then some traditional Indigenous games and there was a sea of smiling faces from the youngsters as they signed autographs at the end of the session.

"This is an opportunity that doesn't come around every day, a dedicated coaching day for young people from the Indigenous community and it has been really special for us," said Shane Nicholls, who manages sport and recreation at the department of health and community services.

"It was their chance to rub shoulders with players who they normally only see on television and you could see what it meant to them. We have made memories that they will talk about for years."

Below: Ryan, Christian and Tom have a go at the didgeridoo

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Grant Cornwell, Head of Global Coaching, added: "This is an important event for us because it helps us understand the Indigenous comminuty in Australia, their history and culture.

"It was an enlightening session both for us and hopefully for the children who attended. The official welcome was fascinating and it was a privilege to be part of it."