The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have joined the NRL and players from all 15 opposition clubs in launching Indigenous Round, for Round 10 of the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership.
Half Kyle Laybutt wore the striking 2018 Cowboys Indigenous jersey with pride today at the official launch on the traditional lands of the Turrubal and Yuggera People at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The Cowboys will run out in their Indigenous jerseys in Thursday night's round-opener against the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.
Indigenous Round will see the NRL use its extensive reach to highlight significant social issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – including promoting respectful and positive behaviours across communities.
Welcome to Country ceremonies will occur at all matches, as well as pre-match cultural performances and gift exchanges between captains prior to kick-off.
Every player and match official will wear Indigenous-inspired jerseys for just the second time in NRL Telstra Premiership history.
The NRL, who has been working closely with Reconciliation Australia for more than a decade, will again use the round to promote and facilitate respect, trust and positive relationships between the rugby league community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council Member, Joshua Creamer said the NRL's commitment and positive influence to First Nations peoples is undeniable.
"The NRL was the first national sporting organisation to commit to a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) back in 2008 and the first to achieve 'Elevate' status earlier this year - the highest of four levels for RAPs," Mr Creamer said.
"As an Indigenous man and rugby league fan, I'm proud to see the game continually using its positive influence to drive social change in Indigenous communities throughout Australia and beyond.
"Not just this week, but every single day."
NRL Chief Operating Officer Nick Weeks agreed that Indigenous Round was far more important than the eight games played across the round.
"Indigenous Round remains one of the most passionate and vibrant weeks on the rugby league calendar and is an enormous opportunity to show just how much the NRL is committed to uniting and inspiring Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike," Mr Weeks said.
The 2018 Cowboys Indigenous jersey is available through the Cowboys Team Shop.
Match: Wests Tigers v Cowboys
Round 10 -
Venue: Leichhardt Oval