Celebrating NAIDOC Week, North West Sydney Football Women’s Football Manager and long-serving female football advocate Denise Robinson couldn’t be more prouder of her Indigenous heritage.
A well-respected figure in the women’s game in NSW, Robinson has never forgotten her admiration for her culture hailing from the Biripi people of Taree.
“My grandmother (Nan) on my father’s side was Aboriginal. My family are from Purfleet near Taree on the Mid North Coast. I am a descendent of the Biripi people of Taree.
“I’m extremely proud of who I am and where I came from. My father was my role model and I consider myself very lucky to have experienced bits and pieces of his culture growing up.”
The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is ‘Heal Country’ which calls for a better understanding from all Australians to continue to seek greater protections for lands, waters, sacred sites and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.
An important week for each and every Australian, Robinson stressed the importance NAIDOC Week played in ensuring our respect and further education on our proud Indigenous community.
“It is very important as it celebrates our history, culture and achievements.
“Most of all though, it provides all Australians an opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Communities.
“Over the years I have noticed more NAIDOC events being organised by communities, local councils and schools which I believe shows a greater depth of acceptance and respect for our people.”
An avid footballer herself proudly playing the round ball game for the West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook Football Club since 2009, Robinson herself has seen Indigenous football on the rise and has flagged an idea that she hopes will come to life in promoting future Indigenous stars.
“If you take a look at the current Matildas and Young Matildas squads we are not doing too bad considering Lydia Williams, Kyah Simon, Gemma Simon, Jada Whyman and Shay Evans are in these respective teams.
“I actually have this idea which has been in my mind for quite a while now.
“I would like to provide an opportunity for Indigenous girls to come play football in the NWSF Association.
“The logistics of how to make that happen is tricky, but I believe it is achievable.
“We already offer football for MiniRoos, Juniors, Seniors, Over 30 and Over 40 females, not to mention our All- Inclusive PINK program, so why not include the Indigenous community.”
A hard-working female football administrator that not only is the General Manager for the North West Sydney Football Women’s Association for the past eleven years, Robinson continues to promote and develop the sport via her many other roles as the current member of the Football NSW Women’s Standing Committee, is part of the North West Sydney Football Women’s World Cup 2023 Working Group and Vice-President of the West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook FC MiniRoos and Under 6’s Age Coordinators – it is also her love for her Indigenous heritage that keeps Robinson motivated in kicking more goals for the sport.
The 2021 NAIDOC Week runs from the 4th of July till the 11th.