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Brisbane Roar only A-League club to wear an Indigenous strip to support reconciliation

Andrew Mathieson -

The occasion deserved a big stage and in Brisbane, there is none bigger than Suncorp Stadium.

So much so that to pay tribute to and commemorate First Nations' culture and contribution to the round-ball game, Queensland's only A-League club played both its men and women's sides on Sunday at the venue, known more for Indigenous NRL state-of-origin stars, for the first time together in more than four years on Sunday.

While the A-League still falls well behind other national competitions for its lack of an Indigenous round, the Roar went out on their own to push for an Indigenous match in a club first.

None of the other 13 clubs including Adelaide United's men and Perth Glory's women, who travelled to Brisbane on Sunday for a 2-1 defeat and 1-1 draw respectively against the hosts, wore an alternative Indigenous kit.

Football Australia has dabbled with the themed round sporadically in the past as a somewhat token gesture, partnering with the John Moriarty Football foundation as part of Indigenous Football Week.

Both Brisbane Roar FC sides walked onto the pitch in the same special-edition First Nations strips for the rare double-header.

"I was thrilled to have the opportunity to wear the jersey on Sunday," Roar women's captain Ayesha Norrie said.

"It's an honour to have this representation in football for not only myself, but for the next generation."

Roar defender Jenna McCormick. (Image: Dave Hunt/AAP)

The design was the brainchild of the Interim Truth and Treaty Body tides of change, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authority that aims to bring a First Nations treaty to Queensland.

Interim Truth and Treaty Body chair Mick Gooda during Reconciliation Week signed up to a Memorandum of Understanding with the Roar to this year enter a "groundbreaking" partnership to raise greater awareness of culture through the passion of football.

"Both Mob and Queenslanders love their sport, so what better way to get the word out about Truth and Treaty than through sporting clubs and events" Gooda said.

Part of the arrangement also included the appointment of Roar forward Jez Lofthouse as the club's non-Indigenous Truth and Treaty ambassador.

Their kit on the day featured multi-coloured artwork with a series of circles and dots over the predominantly black shirt mixed in with an Aboriginal red and yellow and Torres Strait Island's green, blue and white colours incorporated.

Roar men's club captain Tom Aldred led from the front in Brisbane's Indigenous kit on Sunday (Image: A-League)

Brisbane Roar chief executive Kaz Patafta said the occasion provided an opportunity to support a range of Indigenous fans of world football to display inclusivity at the club.

"Playing football is our core. However, we are a community club and therefore it is important for us to acknowledge, and respect the many cultures and beliefs that reflect both the people within our club, as well as our Brisbane Roar fans, and their communities," he said.

"Brisbane Roar welcomes and respects all people, regardless of backgrounds and we remain devoted to supporting all Indigenous cultures that shape our nation and our football community."


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