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Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council announcement

The Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council (ARLIC) has undergone change at a board level. 

Former Australian Jillaroo, Katrina Fanning has been announced as the new Chairwoman of the ARLIC, whilst former Australian, New South Wales and Canberra player, Laurie Daley has accepted a position as a member of the Council.

Mr Daley joins the Council for the first time, whilst Ms Fanning takes over from outgoing ARLIC Chairwoman, the Honourable Linda Burney MP, who has stepped down from the board to concentrate on her current role as a Member of Parliament in the Australian Federal Opposition.

Ms Fanning, a Wiradjuri woman from Junee in New South Wales, has been a member of the ARLIC board since 2012 and is currently the Director of Coolamon Advisors.  She has held several senior public service roles previously, including at Aboriginal Hostels, Centrelink and the Department of Employment.

Ms Fanning’s playing career spanned 26 tests for Australia, including as a member of the inaugural Jillaroos Test team in 2005.

“It’s an incredible honour to not only remain as part of the ARLIC board, but to have the opportunity to lead as Chairwoman,” Ms Fanning said. 

“Rugby League has played such a pivotal role in my life, as has ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a strong voice within communities”.

“The game that I grew up with and that I love has welcomed and embraced so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, participants and fans over many years – including my fellow council members, Mal Cochrane and Laurie Daley.

“We have an incredible representation of Indigenous players within the NRL – more than 12% now – and close to 20% of grassroots players hail from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

“I’m looking forward to helping grow this number and to continue to promote the positive work that the NRL, our states and our clubs deliver in Indigenous communities on a daily basis.”

Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman, Peter Beattie congratulated Ms Fanning and Mr Daley on their appointments and thanked outgoing Chairwoman, the Honourable Linda Burney MP for her outstanding contribution.

“Linda is without doubt, one of the most vocal and passionate Indigenous women I have met,” Mr Beattie said.

“Our game owes Linda a great deal of gratitude for the enthusiasm, guidance and cultural awareness that she has delivered in her role as Chairwoman since 2012.

“As Katrina and Laurie take on their new roles, I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council in developing stronger pathways, opportunities and recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people involved in our game.”

The NRL, alongside players and clubs, has had a close bond with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over many years.

The game is the only major national sporting organisation to have reached ‘Elevate’ Status in a new Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), with several clubs currently delivering their own RAP.

This is in addition to local community, wellbeing and education programs run by the NRL in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as well as the traditional NRL Indigenous Round and NRL Harvey Norman All Stars matches.

Katrina Fanning

  • A Wiradjuri woman from Junee
  • 14 year playing career
  • Played in the inaugural Australian Jillaroos Test in 1995
  • 26 appearances for Australia
  • Captained New South Wales and Country New South Wales
  • Served as President of the Australian Women’s Rugby League, as well as Canberra Women’s Rugby League
  • Resides in Canberra and works as the Director of Coolamon Advisors
  • Appointed Canberra Woman of the Year and ACT NAIDOC Person of the Year in 2014
  • Received a Public Service Medal in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours for outstanding service to Indigenous Australians
  • Nominated as ACT Australian of the Year in 2017
  • Elected to the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (the only elected Indigenous voice to an Australian Government) in 2017, working with the ACT Government
  • A member of the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council since 2012
  • Elected as Chairwoman of the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council in 2018
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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