Under the bright lights of RAAF Based Edinburgh Oval, Adelaide, hundreds of spectators roared from the sidelines for the inaugural exhibition AFL game between Edinburgh Defence and the Kaurna Football Team.
The high-tempo game on September 25 saw the Kaurna team win convincingly, with their great mateship, team spirit and culture proudly on display.
South Australian RAAF Indigenous liaison officer and Kaurna Football Team Captain, Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Steven Warrior, said there was nothing but positives that came from the event, which pitted the areas traditional owners (the Kaurna people) against the Air Force.
“It is a great opportunity to get our local Indigenous football team to prepare for the upcoming State Aboriginal Football Carnival 2019 and for Defence personnel to prepare for the annual Air Force versus Army match,” FLTLT Warrior said.
“This game is something we would like to do annually and the support we have received from both the Kaurna and Defence communities has been phenomenal.
“I believe this has been the first sporting event where a Defence team has played against an off-base Aboriginal community team here in South Australia.
“As a passionate Kaurna man, having my community come on base and take part in these initiatives is invaluable.
“We all take immense pride in representing our team, our people and our culture.”
Vincent Buckskin, from the Kaurna Sports Association, said much like the First Peoples of the land they played on, the Air Force was also full of history and tradition.
“The Air Force loves to fly high but today you have seen the Kaurna footballers fly higher,” Mr Buckskin said.
“This can be a start of another strong and wonderful tradition with a regular football match between Kaurna and RAAF in future years.”
The Edinburgh Defence Football team consisted of the 1st Armoured Regiment, the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and Air Force players.
The Commanding Officer of No. 24 Squadron, Wing Commander (WGCDR) Glenn Orton, said it was a privilege to host the Kaurna community on base to participate in an entertaining game of football.
“We are building on the great work Air Force has done over the years to create a meaningful and inclusive relationship with the Kaurna people,” WGCDR Orton said.
“We acknowledge the Kaurna people as the traditional owners of RAAF Edinburgh and we will continue to strengthen our relationship.”