The Gold Coast SUNS’ Round 11 fixture against the Western Bulldogs will be one of three matches to be broadcast in traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language during the 2023 Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

In consultation with First Nations Media Australia and Senior Research Fellow for Media and Communications at RMIT Dr Daniel Featherstone, the AFL with support from Telstra, is delighted to extend its offering of in-language broadcasts to three different radio stations in 2023 to ensure the game is available to more First Nations people during the dedicated round.

More than 50 remote communities and homelands will have the opportunity to listen to the game in their traditional language with games broadcast in Yolngu Matha, Tiwi and Arrernte. 

Round 11 will welcome Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Association (TEABBA) to broadcast the Darwin match between Gold Coast SUNS and the Western Bulldogs in traditional Tiwi language, while Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAMMA) will broadcast the match between the Adelaide Crows and Brisbane Lions in Arrernte language.

Round 10 of Sir Doug Nicholls Round will also welcome the return of Yolŋu Radio to broadcast the annual Dreamtime at the G match between Essendon and Richmond in traditional Yolngu Matha.

TEABBA is responsible for the Indigenous Radio Broadcasting Services for 29 remote Top End Aboriginal Communities, with regular programming content from its Darwin studio and various community Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services (RIBS).

Tiwi locals and Northern Territory football greats Kevin Baxter and Laelia Dunn will join the TEABBA commentary team to call and AFL match for the first time. Baxter is a dual-premiership player for the Waratah Football Club, while Dunn returns to the commentary box as a caller, after doing special comments with ABC Darwin.

AFL Executive General Manager Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch said it was pleasing to provide First Nations people with access to more AFL games than ever before.

“The AFL is proud to extend its offering of in-language broadcasts to three different radio stations this season to provide more Australians with an opportunity to hear the elite game in their own languages,” Ms Hosch said.

“Language is very sacred and a source of great strength where it has survived in many communities across Australia so it’s extremely important to make sure that we continue to support and respect the preservation of these traditional languages. To have an opportunity to provide the footy platform to these callers of the game is a privilege for the AFL.

“I’d like to thank Yolngu Radio, TEABBA and CAMMA for their contribution to our game along with Telstra for being a supporting partner of this initiative and Triple M for their technical support for each of the broadcasts.”

As a proud partner of the AFL for almost two decades, Telstra’s support of the initiative ensures that some of the most remote communities in the country can connect with footy in their own language.

Lauren Ganley, Head of First Nations Strategy & Engagement at Telstra said:

“Telstra is honoured to be able to support Yolŋu Radio, TEABBA, and CAAMA in bringing this year’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round, in language, to Northern Territory community radio stations. Being able to reach First Nations communities throughout North-East Arnhem Land, the Tiwi Islands, and Central Australia, and broadcast in-language, is truly special and should be honoured and celebrated.”

Fans can find their local frequency and tune into TEABBA Radio and CAAMA 100.5FM while Yolngu Radio will be available on 88.9FM throughout East Arnhem Land, Darwin and Palmerston and both are available via the Official AFL App, thanks to Telstra.