A race from each of the three codes will be named and branded as the racing industry celebrates NAIDOC Week this year as part of Racing Queensland’s commitment to strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Clubs as far north as Townsville down to the Redcliffe Harness Racing and Capalaba Greyhound Racing Clubs will mark the occasion with showcase races to shine a light on NAIDOC Week.
Racing Queensland is proud to celebrate NAIDOC Week, which will be held between July 4-11, with the races spread across all three codes:
- Harness at Redcliffe on 4 July 2021 named the “RQ NAIDOC Celebration Pace”.
- Thoroughbreds at Townsville on 6 July 2021 named the “RQ NAIDOC Yaddaman Race”; and
- Greyhounds at Capalaba on 11 July 2021 named the “RQ NAIDOC Celebration Chase”
The races are dedicated to acknowledging and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities in Queensland and forms part of RQ’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) implemented in 2020.
RQ Reflect RAP Artwork and NAIDOC Week branding will feature on the handler’s bibs, strappers bibs, saddle cloths, harness helmet covers, harness colours and winner’s presentation rugs at all three of the races.
The winner of each race will be presented with RQ NAIDOC Week Trophy.
President John Catton says Capalaba Greyhound Club are proud to be involved with NAIDOC Week celebrations.
“We are looking forward to supporting NAIDOC Week and the traditional owners of our land near the Capalaba track,” Catton said.
“We will work with the local Council and those organisations to celebrate.
“This is the first time as a Club we have hosted a NAIDOC event and with Racing Queensland stepping up their help, there is a good feeling about the ceremony and the events that we are going to run.
“There will be a presentation, welcome to country and Didgeridoo player as well, everyone will be able to see it and acknowledge it on the day.”
At Redcliffe this Sunday, Koormuri Cultural Dance Troupe will perform before the RQ NAIDOC Celebration Pace as well as a Welcome to Country and Didgeridoo Player on hand.
“Redcliffe is a very multicultural area these days, there is a lot of people from diverse backgrounds around the Redcliffe Peninsula and Deception Bay, as well as places around the area,” Redcliffe Peninsula Harness Racing and Sporting Club president Bernie Ring said.
“We are all working towards coming together, we are proud to be involved with NAIDOC Week and having celebrations at our Club.
“There will be some artwork being presented upstairs in the restaurant.
“This is the second time we have been involved in the NAIDOC Week, which involves a welcome to country and Digeridoo performance.”
For the thoroughbred code, the running of the NAIDOC Celebration Race will be held at Townsville’s Cluden Park on July 6, celebrating Indigenous culture through ceremonial aspects including a Welcome To Country and Smoking Ceremony.
“NAIDOC Week plays a pivotal role in Australia each year; providing an opportunity for all of us to recognise – and reflect – on the fact that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years,” Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said.
“As a sport, racing has long understood the power it possesses to unite communities and engender hope across Queensland.
“In addition to being one of the state’s largest employers – providing more than 12,500 full-time jobs – our racing clubs and racecourses serve as important social hubs from Cooktown to Stanthorpe and everywhere in between.
“And as we continue to operate, we are constantly striving to create respectful relationships and to provide enhanced opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - and businesses - to become involved in the Queensland racing industry.”
Click here to read more about RQ’s celebration of NAIDOC Week, as well as our Reconciliation Action Plan.