The Western Bulldogs acknowledges the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the way this has been attributed around the world, including in Australia, as the country’s Head of State.
The Club also recognises the significant and ongoing feelings of hurt within Indigenous communities that stems from colonisation and what the monarchy represents since that time.
As the match between the Bulldogs and the Dockers last night specifically kicked off Indigenous Round, the Club believes the decision to hold a minute’s silence directly following the Acknowledgement of Country was insensitive. It heightened the feelings of hurt and unease among Indigenous communities, as well as among the players and spectators present and viewing the match.
The Club agrees with the AFL’s decision to withhold a minute’s silence for the remainder of the AFLW’s Indigenous Round.
STATEMENT FROM BULLDOGS DIRECTOR AND PROUD WOTJOBALUK AND DJA DJA WURRUNG WOMAN, BELINDA DUARTE:
“Whilst for many Australians it's seen as appropriate to recognise the significance of the Queen’s passing, we must understand what this brings up for First Peoples, the impact of colonisation and what the monarchy represents to us and our families.
“At last night’s AFLW Indigenous Round match, the AFL-mandated minute of silence imposed a reflection on the impact of her life and reign. This unearths deep wounds for us.
“I want to acknowledge the sensitivity and consideration the players, staff and community expressed to me personally and collectively last night, and acknowledge the impact and influence it has since had more broadly on the round.”