The Dudley United Football Club on Kangaroo Island has been invigorated once again by the inclusion of five new Indigenous recruits from the Top End.
The Kangaroo Island Football League meanwhile celebrated its Indigenous Round on Saturday, May 22 in the lead up to National Reconciliation Week.
A smoking ceremony was held at Penneshaw before the A grade clash between Dudley United and Wisanger.
Proud Ramindjeri/Ngarrindjeri man Mark Koolmatrie was the league's special guest, performing the Welcome to Country in language and a traditional smoking ceremony as the A grade teams stood silent in respect of Aboriginal culture and walking together in harmony.
After the ceremony, the Dudley Eagles had another big win beating second place Wisanger, and cementing its spot on top the Island league, thanks no doubt due to the imported talent.
The Dudley Eagles meanwhile have an ongoing relationship with the Clontarf Foundation, which works to place talented young footballers from remote areas into communities across Australia.
The Clontarf recruits for the Dudley club this year are Troyston Corbett, Zachariah Limerick, Bradlee Ward, Kyrell Barton and Nathan Jnr Dickson.
There are two additional Indigenous recruits working at the Penneshaw Hotel, Kyron Pepper and Tjaedon Mckeown.
Dudley United Football Club vice president Simon Wheaton said the five Clontarf lads were great additions to the community.
They had been on the Island since about February and were settling in well, although they had yet to experience truly cold weather, a complaint of many of the recruits.
When not training or playing football, the idea was to get the recruits out into the community working. They had also been billeted out to stay with local families.
This year, one of the lads was working at Dudley Winery with long-time project supporter Jeff Howard, while another was working with Mr Wheaton on his farm. Other work placements included Fleurieu Removals, SA Water and KI Connect.
The recruits had also been enrolled in construction and agricultural training courses to further their horizons.
The club has formed the Dudley Indigenous Support Group, which holds regular meetings.
Last week, representatives from the Clontarf Foundation visited KI to see how the recruits were doing.
They also visited Whyalla where the program is operating, he said.