Dreamtime at the 'G

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Dreamtime at the 'G
Dreamtime at the 'G.png
City or region Melbourne, Victoria
First contested 2005
Most wins Essendon (6 wins)
Most recent meeting 31 May 2014
Next meeting TBD
Broadcasters Network Ten (2005-2011)
Seven Network (2012-present)

Dreamtime at the 'G is an annual Australian rules football match between Australian Football League clubs Essendon and Richmond.

The name of the match comes from Australian Aboriginal mythology The Dreaming or Dreamtime and the Australian, but more specifically Victorian, colloquial reference to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, "the 'G", where the match takes place.

Since the 2007 season the match has been held on Saturday night of the AFL's Indigenous Round (round 9) on 26 May 2007.

The winning club is awarded the "Kevin Sheedy Cup" and the best player on the ground is awarded the "Yiooken Award".

This annual match (which is part of the AFL Indigenous Round) was broadcast on Network Ten, being part of their 'Saturday Night Football'/'Dreamtime at the G' coverage; usually hosted by Stephen Quartermain, until the network were outbid for the television rights for the 2012–16 seasons inclusive; the Seven Network now televise the match as part of its expanded AFL coverage. Therefore, the match every year until 2016, is called by their 'Saturday Night Footy' team headed up by former VFL player Brian Taylor along with Luke Darcy, Matthew Richardson, Cameron Ling including Samantha Lane and Doctor Peter Larkins.


Dreamtime at the 'G was first held in 2005, with the aim being to celebrate the contribution of all indigenous players to the AFL.[1] It was held during NAIDOC Week.[2]

From 2006, the Yiooken Award has been awarded to the player judged best on ground in the match.[3] In 2007, following the success of the Dreamtime at the 'G match in 2005 and 2006, the AFL nominated a specific Indigenous Round (round 9) which has become an annual event in which the Dreamtime at the 'G match takes centre stage.

Notable matches[edit]

  • Round 6, 2006 saw Richmond escape with a two-point victory over Essendon after Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls scored the match winning behind with minutes remaining in the final quarter.
  • Round 9, 2007: With just under five minutes remaining, Richmond had a 12 point lead, which was pulled back by Essendon to level the match at 84-apiece (Richmond 12.12.(84) - Essendon 11.18.(84). Tigers full-forward Matthew Richardson thought he had kicked the match winning goal but it was pulled back, and a fifty-metre penalty was awarded, after Richardson had pushed his opponent in the back prior to kicking the goal. Essendon kicked the last 1.2.(8) of the match to win the game by eight points and deny Richmond what would have been their first win of the 2007 season.

The Long Walk[edit]

The match is associated with the pre-game ritual "The Long Walk",[4] which is a charity inspired by indigenous former Essendon player Michael Long, who walked to Canberra in 2004 to get the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people back on the national agenda. On the day of the Dreamtime game, The Long Walk hold a community celebration featuring entertainment and activities as well as community organisation information stalls. Prior to the Dreamtime match, Long, and several other thousand participants walk from Federation Square to the Melbourne Cricket Ground to promote reconciliation. In 2013, over 15,000 participants walked to the MCG. 2014 marks The Long Walk's 10th anniversary.

Curtain Raiser[edit]

A curtain-raiser match is held between two Indigenous football teams from around Australia and its territories.

Year Match/Series Name Team Team
2005[5] West Australian Clontarf Aboriginal Academy
Western Australia
vs Victorian Indigenous
2006 No curtain-raiser match, entertainment and welcome ceremony[3]
2007[6] Tiwi Bombers
Tiwi Islands
vs Rumbalara
Shepparton, Central Victoria
2008[7] Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte)
Alice Springs, Northern Territory
vs Fitzroy Stars
2009[8] Imalu Tigers
Tiwi Islands
vs Brambuk Eels
Western Victoria
2010[9] Rio Tinto Challenge Cup Northern
Northern Australia
vs Southern
Southern Australia

Pre-match ceremony[edit]

Each year the game is preceded by an extravagant indigenous-based music and entertainment show. Performers in 2008 included Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody.

Match results[edit]

Year Home Team Score Away Team Score Attendance Yiooken Award Winner Game Report
2005 Richmond 14.8 (92) Essendon 9.12 (66) 49,975 -
2006 Essendon 13.17 (95) Richmond 13.19 (97) 58,439 Dean Polo (Richmond)[10]
2007 Richmond 12.12 (84) Essendon 12.20 (92) 61,837 James Hird (Essendon)[11]
2008 Essendon 10.12 (72) Richmond 16.14 (110) 60,333 Nathan Foley (Richmond)[12]
2009 Richmond 12.13 (85) Essendon 19.11 (125) 73,625 Jason Winderlich (Essendon)[13]
2010 Essendon 19.16 (130) Richmond 14.11 (95) 64,709 David Hille (Essendon) [14]
2011 Richmond 16.9 (105) Essendon 13.11 (89) 83,563 Trent Cotchin (Richmond) [15]
2012 Essendon 19.14 (128) Richmond 15.19 (109) 81,200 Brett Deledio (Richmond)
2013 Richmond 9.8 (62) Essendon 13.13 (91) 84,234 Jobe Watson (Essendon)
2014 Essendon 15.14 (104) Richmond 7.12 (54) 74,664 Brendon Goddard (Essendon)


Essendon: 6 Richmond: 4

Kevin Sheedy Cup[edit]

In 2005 Richmond and Essendon first competed for the Kevin Sheedy Cup.[16] The cup has continued to be awarded to the winner of each Dreamtime at the 'G game.

Sheedy has a strong connection with both Essendon and Richmond, having played 251 games for Richmond including their 1969, 1973 and 1974 Premiership teams. He won the 1976 best & fairest award, captained the club in 1978, was named on their Team of the Century at left back-pocket and inducted into the Richmond Hall of Fame in 2002. He retired in 1979. He then went on to coach Essendon from 1981 to 2007, amassing 635 games as coach and led the club to Premierships in 1984, 1985, 1993 & 2000. He was named as coach of the Essendon Team of the Century.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Karen Lyon (6 July 2005). "Tigers, Bombers conjure 'Dreamtime at the 'G'". Melbourne: The Age. 
  2. ^ Callander, Sean (2005). "Football Dream". AFL Record (Round 15): 12–13. 
  3. ^ a b "Dreamtime at the G - 2006". Essendon Football Club. 10 May 2007. Archived from the original on 14 May 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2009. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Dreamtime at the G". Melbourne: Essendon Football Club. 5 July 2005. Archived from the original on 14 May 2007. 
  6. ^ "2007 Dreamtime at the G". Melbourne: AFL Bigpond Network. 23 May 2007. 
  7. ^ "Indigenous curtain-raiser at Dreamtime at the 'G". Melbourne: Essendon Football Club. 21 May 2008. 
  8. ^ "Ryder says Dreamtime will be something special". Melbourne: Essendon Football Club. 20 May 2009. 
  9. ^ "Dreamtime clash inspires Bombers". Melbourne: Essendon Football Club. 21 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Polo recognised for starring debut". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 May 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "Dreamtime delight for the Bombers". Melbourne: Essendon Football Club. 26 May 2007. 
  12. ^ Burgan, Matt (24 May 2008). "Bombers fall to Tigers". AFL BigPond Network. 
  13. ^ Witham, Jennifer (23 May 2009). "Dons down Tigers by 40". AFL BigPond Network. 
  14. ^ Burgan, Matt (22 May 2010). "Dons in dreamland after easy win". AFL BigPond Network. 
  15. ^ Goraya, Raman (21 May 2011). "Young Tigers beat Bombers on big stage". ABC. 
  16. ^ Wilson, Caroline; Rielly, Stephen (3 March 2006). "Dons, Tigers join in 'dream' game". The Age.