The VACSAL Statewide Senior Football Netball Carnival 2023 is hosted in partnership with Wathaurong Aboriginal Co=operative which had over 3,000 community attending the event. It is a special time where mob and families enjoy and connect with each other on a day of celebration and fun.
Elders Families and youths watched their Nations representing playing either AFL or Netball.
The Victorian Aboriginal Community Services (VACSAL) understands the significant role that gatherings, such as family, community, cultural and sporting events have played in our Aboriginal community since time began.
VACSAL is a peak Aboriginal Community organisation delivering a range of government funded programs to support and assist children, young people and families as well as strengthening communities and culture.
These annual events have a productive impact on many levels of the Victorian Aboriginal society; the carnivals bring various communities from all over Victoria together in a highly valued cultural exchange. The gathering of so many Aboriginal families in the one place reinstalls kinship arrangements and the obligations associated with kinship.
There are very few opportunities for the Aboriginal communities of Victorian to come together as nations to share common interest, to participate in sports and at the same time discuss issues affecting each community.
Providing an avenue for communities, families and individuals to be involved in a cultural meaningful activity is an established method of strengthening community. It promotes Aboriginal connections and awareness that impact on community safety. Dr Alf Bamblett worked tirelessly in our community over his lifetime to ensure that Aboriginal people had a voice, that we are participants and not just recipients. This Carnival is all about participation. Whilst we expect that each competitor will step up and bring their best, we also hope that each will value the experience of the competition and connection with kin and community.
This Carnival will always be a special event that has a very important place in the Aboriginal community throughout Victoria. “It’s not just about sport.” It is so much more to so many people.
VACSAL recognises that sports is a great vehicle to engage the Aboriginal community in promoting healthy lifestyles, addressing social disadvantage and strengthening cultural identity in order to create of a strong, healthy and vibrant community.