V Swans S2S 2019 Karijini/Jigalong Tour (part one…)

Monday, November 4, 2019 - 1:05 PM

Temperatures nearing 40 degrees… over 1200km from Perth… no grass… no better place for a game of football.

Day one of the V Swans S2S Female Cultural and Leadership Tour was all about travel. Girls from our ‘Swans In the Community’ programs, SDFC WAFLW teams and V Swans Pilbara Hubs (Onslow, Roebourne, Port Hedland and Newman) met up in Newman to begin a unique football, leadership and cultural experience.

Early on day two we all travelled to the western edge of the Little Sandy Desert to the remote Aboriginal Community Jigalong. Here we were met by Ngurra Kujungka staff and local community members who would host us for our brief stay.

The Jigalong community pools were opened for a refreshing splash before we travelled for 20 minutes to the ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’. Here, Daryl Kelly, the eldest grandson of ‘Molly Craig’- welcomed us to Jigalong and talked about the 1600km walk his grandmother achieved on which the book, then movie, “Rabbit Proof Fence” was based.

Daryl briefly talked about the “Stolen Generation” and the heroics of the walk of his grandmother Molly, her sister Daisy and cousin Gracie. Following this Daryl presented the Western Desert All Stars team and our V Swans girls with their playing jumpers.

After the jumper presentations it was time for game preparation.  The barefooted Western Desert girls held a distinctive home ground advantage. The rock-hard playing surface combined with their nimble, speedy footwork had our girls on the back foot.

As the sun was setting, both the light and temperature were dropping in unison. The backdrop of the Jigalong Community Oval was a spectacular, hazy, desert dusk. Our girls probably took the honours (if there was a scoreboard) however, the experience of playing in Jigalong against the Martu girls was a unique experience and one our girls will treasure.

Following the game, it was back to the pools for a rehab session, dinner and then off to bed in readiness for another early start and yet more travelling.

Next destination… Karijini National Park…. to be continued.