RIRRATJINGU ON NATIONAL STAGE

November 30, 2016

Djarrak Football Club congratulate our corporate supporter Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation for their dedicated approach to family and community safety and the important support given to a number of significant events over the past week. Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation are strong advocates for place based harm reduction strategies and along with other stakeholders at Yirrkala can point to a 27.9% reduction in Domestic and Family Violence cases within the community.

 

The Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation White Ribbon Dinner held last Friday, in Nhulunbuy, was a resounding success with $80,000 raised on the night, of which $10,000 has been allocated to the White Ribbon Organisation and $70,000 to the No More Campaign. Over 400 guests enjoyed an entertainment package and fine food under the stars on the lawns at the Walkabout Lodge. Businesses and organisations from across the Gove Peninsula supported the event.

 

Charlie King, from the No More Campaign, was host for the evening. Guest speakers included White Ribbon NT Committee Chair & Commisioner of Police and CEO of Fire and Emergency Services - Mr Reece P Kershaw APM, Acting Senior Sergeant NT Police Nhulunbuy - Erica Sims, Abbey Holmes - Adelaide Crows AFL Womens Player and Michael Solomon - CEO AFL NT.

 

The Rirratjingu Clan opened the event with a bunggul, and the sacred chanting and dance reverberated throughout the mesmerised onlookers. Yirrmal opened the entertainment, and the Geelong based musician wowed the crowed with his well honed display and appreciation to be playing in front of his family. He was joined on stage by his father Witiyana Marika. Award winning artist Gawurra was a highlight and Yothu Yindi finished the evening late into the night.

 

It is no secret that Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation have invested heavily towards community safety and with their support, Djarrak Football Club have been able to complete their Domestic Violence Action Plan with the No More Campaign. The club received the DVAP on Friday night and the document has now been added to this website. Charlie King said "It's fantastic that Djarrak Football Club have developed and received their DVAP. We look forward to continuing our work together".

 

The No More message continued to be conveyed over the weekend and culminated with a motion passed in Parliament on Monday, with bi-partisan support from both major parties and independents in 'Support of Eliminating Domestic Violence'. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said "Now domestic and family violence is preventable. We all have a part to play, all levels of government, all leaders – we must work together to provide the prevention, the strong safety and security measures, and the penalties for those who commit this crime". Opposition Leader Bill Shorten added "We owe the First Australians, we owe all Australians, more than mere words - more than a vague promise to do better. Women and children must have the same rights and the same access to justice – no matter who they are, or where they live".

 

At the invitation of the Australian Government, the Rirratjingu Clan performed Djan'kawu bunggul. The powerful performance opened a call to all Australians to confront family violence head on. Djan'kawu is said to be more than 60,000 years old and tells of a creation story involving two sisters. "They were holy and sacred. Women are holy. Because they are creators, they bring life, our offspring" said Witiyana Marika, who led the Rirratjingu Ceremony along with Laklak Marika and Kathy Marika.

 

 

 

Charlie King was on hand and linked arms with the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, Aboriginal Corporation Chairman Bakamumu Marika and other dignitaries. 

 

Bakamumu Marika said "Symbolism is important. And now we need action. That's more important". 

 

The Djarrak Football Club are proud to have started taking action in the Yirrkala Community and we challenge other clubs within the Gove AFL to develop Domestic Violence Action Plans. The AFL NT through the NTFL has issued notice through the licensing agreement that clubs which haven't developed a DVAP won't be participating in the NTFL.

 

Rirratjingu Football Program Head Coach Hayden Rickard said "The AFL NT with support of the No More Campaign has shown great leadership with their new model requiring a DVAP. Our club will push for similar here. We also acknowledge that alcohol is a trigger for Family and Domestic Violence. It is for this reason that we want to see an increase of Gove AFL Games played away from Nhulunbuy. He added "We can't control the sale or purchase of alcohol, but, we can influence that our sport is played as far away from a licensed premise as feasibly possible. We expect a pushback from some clubs, thats fine. We take our lead from the late Roy Marika MBE, Father of Land Rights, a great man who foresaw how alcohol would adversely effect his people".

 

 

Photo credits: Gilimbaa, The Age, NT News

 

 

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