Kilcunda-Bass players and officials line up for the welcome to country and smoking ceremony at Bass on Saturday, as part of the club’s indigenous round match against Bunyip. rg262217

Indigenous dancers Leon Matthews and Ryan Riley perform a hunting dance for the crowd at the Bass Recreation Reserve. rg282217

THE Kilcunda-Bass Football Netball Club hosted its third annual Indigenous Round match against Bunyip on Saturday, promoting indigenous people and culture.
A smoking ceremony and welcome to country was performed by Boon Wurrung descendent Steve Parker, along with ceremonial dances featuring Leon Matthews, Ryan Riley and Kilcunda-Bass player Alex Kerr, who quickly changed into traditional outfit to perform after playing in the Reserves match.
Kilcunda-Bass president John Shaw said the day means a lot to the club.
“We’re working hard on all angles of the community and this is a very important community angle,” he said.
“A lot of the boys in the team and Indigenous people have done a lot of work towards today. We’ve got 12 people with Indigenous backgrounds who are involved with the club.
“The whole club’s behind them and it means a lot to everyone in the area.
“A couple of years ago we had some ex-AFL players play but this year we felt we’d stick with our locals and not have to put people out of the side.”
Kilcunda-Bass footballers wore a newly-designed indigenous jumper which was funded thanks to a grant from GippSport and raffles by players, while the Panthers’ netballers wore indigenous coloured hair ties and painted the indigenous flag on their arms.