WNBL launches Indigenous Round

October 30, 2023 | WNBL news

The Cygnett WNBL and National Basketball League (NBL) have joined forces to launch their Indigenous Rounds, unified by a passion to leverage the power of basketball to acknowledge and respect Australia’s First Nations people. The WNBL’s Indigenous Round launches the 2023/24 season with Round One games beginning on November 1 when Adelaide hosts Melbourne on Kaurna Country.

The WNBL’s Indigenous Round aims to embrace First Nations culture and heritage, to foster inclusive participation and to engage communities.

Indigenous Round will bring players, teams, and fans together in a series of community engagement initiatives, with players from the league visiting Indigenous communities, schools, and cultural centres to share experiences, foster dialogue, and strengthen connections.

Head of WNBL Christy Collier-Hill says the outreach will extend the positive impact of basketball into the hearts of local communities.

“WNBL Indigenous round is significant in so many ways, and working for the first time with the NBL to launch our respective rounds sets a powerful example for sports organisations worldwide. It demonstrates that the heart of sport lies in the celebration of diversity, the forging of connections, and the power of shared experiences.”

The Australian Sports Commission is proud to support Basketball Australia and the Cygnett WNBL Indigenous Round,” Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM said.

“Sport can only be made stronger by understanding our country’s history and embracing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, their living cultures and celebrating their achievements. The WNBL Indigenous Round is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the power of sport to promote reconciliation, reduce inequality and ensure sport is a positive, welcoming place for everyone.”

The WNBL has partnered with Treaty for Victoria for Indigenous Round, with Co-Chair of First Peoples’ Assembly of Australia, Ngarra Murray recognising the power of basketball as a vehicle for social change.

“We’re making great progress on the journey to Treaty and we want to make sure that all First Peoples from or in Victoria know they can get involved and help choose the destination,” she said.

“Treaty is about putting First Peoples in the driver’s seat when it comes to decisions about our communities,” said Ms Murray, “but it’s also a great chance to make sure our languages and cultures are respected and can be celebrated by everyone.  So it’s a good fit for the WNBL’s Indigenous Round and we’re pleased to be involved.”

Throughout the Indigenous Round, fans at games can expect an immersive experience that highlights the beauty and significance of Indigenous culture.

Each WNBL team will wear Indigenous-themed playing uniforms, while pre-game ceremonies will pay tribute to the traditional custodians of the land, amplifying the voices and stories of Indigenous Australians.


WNBL Indigenous Round initiatives

  • A fan Connection Day on Sunday 5 November, with the WNBL and NBL collaboration extending to a community event in partnership with THE LUME Melbourne.  Fans of all ages can experience the current digital art experience ‘Connection’ which is the most expansive collection of First Peoples’ art ever assembled. Players from the Southside Flyers, Melbourne Boomers & Melbourne United will be attending and available for autographs and photos.
  • Featuring the league Indigenous artwork, created by Tamara May Murray, all players from the eight WNBL clubs will wear warm up t-shirts in support of Indigenous Round celebrations across Round 14. These exclusive t-shirts are currently available for purchase via the WNBL shop. Titled “The only colours we know are the colours of the game”, the artwork depicts the essence of basketball and the unity of the game that brings us all together.
  • Cygnett WNBL team Indigenous uniforms are also available for sale at the WNBL shop.
  • Partnership with Spalding utilising Ms Murray’s artwork for a Indigenous round basketball, also available for fans to purchase.
  • Archer, official supplier of technical officials’ equipment to the WNBL, incorporated the league’s special Indigenous artwork into the referee shirts. Using the existing silhouette being used for the regular season shirts, the artwork takes prominent position across the front and rear torso of the garment.