Ceremonial footballs for Koori round

A WIDJABUL Wi-abul woman from Bundjalung Country in Northern NSW, Zoe Cassim is a member of the Inner West Magpies women’s team and painted two footballs for the club’s Reconciliation Week celebrations at the weekend.

The third year that the Magpies have officially celebrated Reconciliation Week and the Indigenous round of the AFL, the footballs tell the story of the Cooks River, abundant with life, where people meet on Mother Earth under Father Sky and in the light of Grandfather Sun.
Zoe said: “On one side, you have Grandfather Sun above meeting places. Grandfather Sun brings life to all things, and gives us light. The meeting places are along the Cooks River.
“The meeting places would have people from all over Gadigal Country, coming in to fish, to trade and to share stories. Cooks River had an abundance of wildlife before it was built over. It used to reach out to the ocean.
“Our rivers carry a lot of our stories too. So the meeting places are those that have come before us, using the space we now call our club grounds.”
On the other side of the footy, and of the river, Zoe painted green and brown to represent Mother Earth.
“Like Grandfather Sun who gives us life, Mother Earth nurtures and gives us sustenance,” she said. “It is important to remember, that no matter where you are in this country, below every piece of concrete is Mother.
“Above Mother Earth, I painted Father Sky. Father Sky helps us navigate, helps keep our stories, and when it rains, Father Sky converses with Mother, nurturing the growth and life we have.”
See Round 7 match results for Inner West Magpies in Sport.