THE Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council Arthur Beetson Murri Rugby League Carnival is making its way to the traditional country of the late league legend, Arthur Beetson.
The decision to move the popular all Indigenous league carnival after two years from the City of Ipswich to Redcliffe was made in recognition of the rugby league Immortal.
Tony Currie, founder of the Murri Rugby League Carnival, said the decision to relocate the carnival to the Moreton Bay Region came after much consideration and discussion with the Arthur Beetson Foundation and carnival stakeholders.
“The Murri Carnival has been held in Ipswich City for the past two years and has gone from strength to strength and we are confident taking the carnival to Arthur’s old stomping ground, the Redcliffe Dolphins will only build on the popularity of the carnival with more than the 30 000 people attending the carnival in 2013,” Currie said.
The major sponsor of the carnival QAIHC, and Chairperson, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Adams said the Murri Carnival contributed significantly to good public and preventative health programs supporting Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
“People from all over the state travel to participate in this event and all players and officials are required to undertake a ‘Health Check’ at their local Aboriginal Medical Service, with players competing in the Under 15 competition also required to maintain 90% attendance at school,” Ms Adams said.
Ms Adams said in the three months leading up to the carnival, individuals were responsible for engaging in activities to check on their health and wellbeing and this is as a direct result of the Murri Carnival eligibility process.
The four-day long carnival is also underpinned by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health’s Deadly Choices campaign where people are encouraged to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Minister for Recreation and Sport Steve Dickson, who was at the announcement earlier this month, said the Queensland Government was pleased to provide $30,000 sponsorship for the event.
“This annual carnival honours Queensland rugby league greats, both male and female, past and present, and allows the next generation of talent to take to the field,” he said.
This year’s sponsorship will be put towards the women’s component of the carnival highlighting the government’s desire to improve female participation in sport and active recreation.
The carnival will be held at Dolphin Oval Thursday, September 25 to Sunday, September 28 and will involve more than 50 teams; culminating in representative sides being chosen.
The Men’s Queensland Indigenous team will play the New Zealand Maoris in October and then tour Fiji. The Women’s Queensland Indigenous team will play the New Zealand Maoris in October and the Under 15 side will tour Papua New Guinea.
The Murri League Carnival is proudly sponsored by the Australian Government, QAIHC, Queensland Government and the Moreton Bay Regional Council and is an alcohol, smoke and drug free event.
By the Office of the Minister for Sport the Honourable Steve Dickson and Murri Carnival