Goodna Eagles could change the world with this ethos
THE immense contribution of Indigenous culture to the game of rugby league will be honoured by the Goodna Eagles on Saturday.
The Eagles host West End in the Ipswich A Grade clash at Woogaroo Field at 6pm for the club's Goodna Indigenous Appreciation Round which will showcase the power of rugby league to bring people together.
The QT caught up with five-eighth Corey Kirk and team captain Ramon Filipine before the match.
They are two impressive young men who understand what culture and respect means.
Filipine is of Samoan heritage. He has deep respect for the First Australians.
Last year he was a prime mover in initiating the club's inaugural Indigenous Appreciation Round.
"My parents are Indigenous to our own island of Samoa, so I have a great respect for culture and traditions," Filipine said.
"When I first came down to Goodna there were so many cultures all together, so I thought what better way to celebrate that fact than to put Indigenous culture up on a pedestal.
"We can all strive to be better players and better people, by respecting a culture that is not our own."
Kirk is an Indigenous man and proud of it, as he is of the jersey he will run out in with traditional designs.
"One of the legends of Goodna, Craig Wehrman, got a relative to design the jerseys this year," Kirk said.
"She is an artist and she has done a fantastic job. The jerseys really stand out with some great Indigenous artwork throughout.
"Our heritage is who we are so the chance to run out here in an Indigenous jersey for my beloved Eagles is a real honour.
"I've been here for 12 or 13 years now, so it is home for me.
"It is a chance to acknowledge all our past and present Indigenous players who have come through the club and contributed to the culture we have got here, which is really special."
Indigenous heroes Wehrman and the late Ron Daylight and Noel (Chips) Harrington were named in the Goodna rugby league team of the century.
Rugby league's greatest players include Immortal Arthur Beetson, Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis and countless other Aboriginal icons of the game.
"If you ever want to gather Indigenous people together you put on a sporting activity or a free feed . . . and they'll be there," Kirk grinned.
"And rugby league, in particular, is massive for Indigenous culture."
The club's initiative highlights the melting pot of cultures in the team and how they all work together to achieve their goal.
"If you are from Goodna you grow up with different cultures," Filipine said.
"It starts with the schools and this club just represents it. I think that what draws a lot of people here is the mix."
The Indigenous jerseys will be auctioned after the game in the clubhouse to raise funds for the club.