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Defence jersey celebrates heart of the North

The Australian Defence Force’s invaluable contribution to the North Queensland community is honoured in the new Cowboys Defence jersey, unveiled at Queensland Country Bank Stadium today. 

The exclusive Defence jersey will be worn by the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys in their upcoming Defence Round match, proudly supported by Townsville City Council – Round 14 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday 15 August.

The jersey features a distinctive camouflage design with a sprig of rosemary, worn in honour of those who served and fell for our country. 

Defence Round is a highlight on the club’s home-game draw, this year rescheduled from its traditional Anzac Day timeline due to COVID-19 and the competition relaunch.

Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel said the club and Townsville City Council were collaborating to create a special event that will pay tribute to the sacrifice and commitment of serving and former Defence personnel and their families.

“Our club ties to our Defence community are deep and reflect our gratitude and admiration for the courage, initiative, respect and comradeship of all who currently serve and have served before,” he said.

“We have called on our Defence connections to work with us on many occasions, whether it be supporting cyclone recovery efforts or elite training for our team, and we have always emerged a better club for it.

“Our annual Anzac tribute match is a spectacular event, and while our on-field delivery and crowd capacity has been scaled back because of COVID-19, we’ll be working hard to recognise Defence Round with the significance it deserves.     

“We’re thrilled to be working with Mayor Jenny Hill and our Defence colleagues to make this an event to remember.”

Mayor Jenny Hill said Townsville had a long and proud connection with the Defence forces, particularly the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

“Since RAAF Base Townsville and Lavarack Barracks were first established in our city in the 1940s and 1960s respectively, they have been an important part of our community,” Cr Hill said.

“Today, Townsville is proudly one of Australia’s largest garrison cities, with around 13 per cent of our population identifying as being current or former Defence force personnel or their family.

“Cowboys Defence Round is an ideal opportunity to recognise our shared history and celebrate the contribution that the Australian Defence Forces make to our community.” 

The Cowboys also have connections to Defence through their resilience community program partnership with Operation Compass (ex-ADF and families suicide prevention program in Townsville) and Northern Queensland Primary Health Network. There are also strong ties with NRL Cowboys House’s 151 Army Cadet Unit, and between the House and RAAF Base Townsville’s 383 Squadron.