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On the weekend of July 9-10 the small FNQ communities of Pormpuraaw (Saturday) and Laura (Sunday) hosted rugby league games that were more than just sport.

Hosted with national NAIDOC Week celebrations, the two-day event was six months in the making and was a collaborative effort between various organisations including the Queensland Rugby League, NRL, PCYC, army and the communities.

The games were delivered as part of the Australian Army’s Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program (AACAP) alongside the Queensland Rugby League.

Since being set up in 1997, AACAP has worked to improve infrastructure delivery as well as improved health and living standards in Aboriginal communities as well as creating Indigenous employment opportunities during project operation.

Find out more at their website: Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program

Northern Division assistant division manager Robbie Moore said the Laura Gala Day was one of the best days he had been involved with in the Cape.

“All team communities should be commended on the positive behaviour and the way they represented their communities,” he said.

He thanked Vivian Chan, Richard West and Dane Furphy from PCYC for organising the Pormpuraaw/Kowanyama game which was played at a high standard and played in the right spirit.

The match also had a celebrity match official, with Kowanyama mayor Michael Yam running a line for the game.

Major Jack Plimmer, who was part of the team that organised and helped deliver the event, said it was “rewarding to see the fruit” of the planning between the organisations.

“It was six months of planning from both army and QRL/NRL coming together this week ... you and your team ran a really good carnival.”

“It was a great vibe (and) I also had a really fun day,” Major Plimmer said.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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