In the Aboriginal community of Woorabinda, 170 kilometres south west of Rockhampton, the local ladies made history over the weekend.
Despite a few nerves before kick-off, the Woorabinda Wallaroos finished their very first rugby league match in what was described as a milestone moment for the community, by captain Nickieta Kent.
“We’re making history this is the first women’s rugby league team in a comp in Woori,” she told NITV.
The ladies ran out in the men’s jerseys, an unintentional illustration of the club's infancy but the Wallaroos are looking to secure their own strips.
“We rang up for new jerseys because the one we had were like dresses on us so we had to wear the boys’ on the weekend,” Nickieta said.
The club is also hoping to establish a home ground at Woorabinda so they can play in front of their community.
Currently their home games are held at Baralaba, more than 30 kilometres away so they rely on a bus to get them there.
Like many communities around the country a local sporting team can become the heartbeat of a town.
“Playing for the heart, our heart and the love of the game,” the skipper told NITV.
Coach Frank Banjo relocated from Doomadgee to coach the ladies. It’s still early days but the team has shown potential, he says.
“They are [the girls] happy with me coaching, they respect who I am and I respect who they are,” he told NITV.
The Wallaroos missed out on the win over the weekend but they know what to focus on.
“We were buggered, we need to work on our fitness and few of the girls have been saying how sore they are,” Nickieta said.
The community is united by rugby league and with the 35 women already registered the team's list is growing.
“It’s the first time Woorabinda has been in the comp and everyone in the community is very proud."
"The goal is the Grand Final but we’ll be proud of the girls either way even if we don’t even make it to be able to run onto a field and having a couple of games would be great we’ll be happy.”
Saying NO to domestic violence
The Wallaroos have taken a stand against domestic violence.
The club, ‘decided as a group’ to impose ‘penalties’ of their teammates if anyone was involved with issues surrounding domestic violence.
“People might need to miss games so they can focus on getting help,” Nickieta said.
“We’re role models for the younger generation and others in the community.”