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Indigenous Groups Sign a Treaty for Football with Australia

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The lack of progress on recognition and inclusion by football authorities has left Indigenous representatives from Australia and New Zealand dissatisfied. In response, they have signed a groundbreaking "Football Treaty" in Queensland.

The treaty is intended to highlight the importance of Indigenous Australians and New Zealanders as players for their national teams, as well as promote greater understanding on both sides of the Tasman. It also intends to address issues such as quotas, funding, and governance that have affected the participation of indigenous players across all codes in Australia and New Zealand.

The treaty was signed at the Australian Football International Cup in Brisbane by representatives of the Australian Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL), National Rugby League Commission (NRLCC), Westfield Women’s AFL Premiership Season, and National Women's Football League (NWFL).
Indigenous players have been involved with Australian football since its inception in 1858, with many playing in senior leagues around the country. However, their involvement has declined over recent years due to many reasons including lack of opportunities for development, underrepresentation at the elite level, low levels of support from clubs or governing bodies, discrimination based on race or ethnicity, lower levels of income compared with non-indigenous players, limited access to resources such as training.
The treaty will involve both men's and women's teams from the two countries playing against each other regularly. The first game will take place in 2021. The aim is for the games themselves to be played at least once every four years. In addition to this, there will also be an annual youth tournament held at least once every three years, with teams from all over Australia taking part. Additionally, there will be mentoring programs between players from different countries so that they can learn best practices when it comes time for them to compete against each other at higher levels in future years.