• Photo from AP by Vianney Le Caer. (AP)Source: AP
It’s time to dust off your best suit, lay out your fanciest frock and have your rugby scorecard ready in-hand. The first launch gala dinner in the history the 45-year-old NSW Koori Knockout is happening at Dubbo RSL Club on Wednesday 30 September.
By
Yasmin Noone

23 Sep 2015 - 12:32 PM  UPDATED 24 Sep 2015 - 10:40 AM

The 2015 Koori Knockout launch celebration will welcome over 200 guests from the New South Wales footy faithful with a red carpet entrance to officially kick off this year’s sporting event with a live Knockout Gala Draw on stage to determine team match-ups. NITV will broadcast the draw live at 9PM on Wednesday 30 September.

Golden girl, Jessica Mauboy, will be there to woo the crowd, leading the entertainment line-up with a special performance alongside other celebrity guests and entertainers to celebrate the annual coming together of community. 

Barwon Aboriginal Corporation chairperson, Geoff Simpson, said “the gala dinner will be a celebration of how significant the Koori Knockout carnival is, so we want to do it in style."

“It’s never been done before… But we’ve put a lot of work into the event so what better a way to celebrate it than with something special like a gala dinner?”

"It’s about family, it’s about healing, it’s about celebration, and it’s about enjoyment. It’s such a positive event.”

Mr Simpson, who is working to organise the event, added: “it’s an opportunity for the teams and members of the community to get dressed up and reflect on how this event has shaped our people through footy”.

Attendees at the event will include local and football dignitaries, representatives from each team involved and members of the community. 

The 45th NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout, hosted by 2014 winners Walgett Aboriginal Connection, will be held at Caltex Park, Dubbo, from Friday 2 to Monday 5 October.

Regarded as one of the biggest sports gatherings of Indigenous people in the world, the Koori Knockout is rugby league at its best, with over 100 teams, across the men’s, women’s and junior tournament, competing for the top prize.

Mr Simpson, who is in his late-40s, said he has attended every Koori Knockout since he was 16 years old.

“The event is about loving our culture and enabling other people to enjoy it: that’s what the knockout is about. We are the custodians of the event so it’s our obligation to look after it.

“I have come every year. It’s about family, it’s about healing, it’s about celebration, and it’s about enjoyment. It’s such a positive event.”

The gala dinner will also feature a special ‘flashback feature’ looking into the history of the famous Indigenous football event.

“It’s about diving into the past and looking toward the future.”

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The competition will include competitions will be held for U12s, U15s, U17s, women and men.

NITV will be at the heart of the event, broadcasting regional and metropolitan NSW teams battling it out for rugby league glory.

Viewers can keep up to date with all the scores via our rolling score updates on the NITV website.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #KooriKnockout and #NITV.

NITV will broadcast the draw live at 9PM on Wednesday 30 September.