11 June, 2021

Welcome to Origin Country

NOT everyone has the opportunity to get close to the most coveted trophy in Queensland Rugby League, The State of Origin Shield. For members of the Yarrabah community and Seahawks Rugby league Club last Thursday was a very special day.

By Peter McCullagh

Welcome to Origin Country - feature photo

As part of the Queensland Rugby League’s (QRL) Reconciliation Day Celebrations, members from the QRL as well as the Northern Pride accompanied the State of Origin Shield to Yarrabah for a Welcome to Country and a training clinic at Jilara Oval in Yarrabah.

The Yarrabah Seahawks have the distinction of being the only Aboriginal community in Queensland to participate in regular rugby league fixtures. The Club under the guidance of its committee has seen a massive growth in numbers this year resulting in more than 300 registered players and volunteers from this tiny coastal community.

Gillian Bann, President of the Seahawks Junior Rugby League Club was overjoyed at the response to the visit.

“It was a privilege and honour, an absolute pleasure having the State of Origin Shield come to Yarrabah. Many thanks to the QRL team and the Pride boys, the kids loved them,” she said.

Five members of the Northern Pride visited Yarrabah, delivering merchandise giveaways as well as running drills for the younger players.

Cameron Miller, Dave Scott, Jayden Corrigan, Bernard Lewis and Tyson Phineasa all participated in the afternoon and loved the opportunity to connect with the next generation of players.

“We were honoured to be invited to share in the community’s Reconciliation Day celebrations,” said Northern Pride’s Football Operations Manager, Cameron Miller.

“Yarrabah has produced some excellent footballers including Northern Pride greats like Hezron Murgha and Noel Underwood. To spend the afternoon with the community leaders and Seahawks members was amazing.”

The Welcome to Country was conducted by Nathan Schrieber, with Yarrabah Mayor Ross Andrews and CEO Leon Yeatman in attendance along with Darren Schooth, QRL State Operations Manager and Sam Panapa, QLD’s Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator.


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