Sport and recreation
There is an acute lack of sporting and recreational facilities on Alyawarr lands.
Banjo Morton says the only benefit Ampilatwatja has received from the $1.5 billion intervention is a BMX bicycle track, which is now eroded and unsafe to use and which most residents did not want. Bicycles remain locked in a container.
- We wanted grass for the football oval. They shut us out Ö they didnít ask us what we wanted.
Football is an important part of the social fabric of Alyawarr communities.
Apart from the direct social and health benefits to those who play, football also has the potential to contribute in other areas, including employment and health promotion and prevention.
Young men are generally more risk-taking in their behaviour (such as drug and alcohol abuse and driving) and are often long-term unemployed. Aboriginal sporting teams can provide a forum for tackling some of the issues faced by our young people and football teams in particular can help to address some difficult issues faced by our young men.
The Wadja Warriors rugby league club in Woorabinda, Queensland provides a poignant example. Players who commit acts of violence against women are not selected and there is evidence that this has had the desired impact when first introduced in 2000; breaches of domestic violence orders fell by two thirds amongst the Woorabinda community, which is attributed to the postive role-model effect of the players upon other men in the community.
Other initiatives associated with the Wadja Warriors include education and awareness programs, an out-station for families experiencing problems, and the establishment of menís groups.
We seek to work with our football teams to tackle some of the issues faced by our young men.