Indigenous All-Stars (Australian rules football)
|Full name||Indigenous All-Stars|
|Colours||Black Red Gold|
|Ground(s)||Marrara Oval, Darwin (capacity: 15,000)|
|Traeger Park, Alice Springs|
The Indigenous All-Stars (known as for sponsorship reasons Qantas Kickstart Indigenous All-Stars and formerly known as the Aboriginal All-Stars) are an Australian rules football team composed purely of Indigenous Australians. The team has also represented Australia (in 2013) in the International Rules Series.
The team was first formed in 1983 to compete in a once-off post-season exhibition match in Mildura, and another once-off game was played in 1994. Since 2003, the team has played a regular biennial pre-season match against an Australian Football League (AFL) club; the only exception was in 2011, when the scheduled match was cancelled due to inclement weather. The matches are usually played in the Northern Territory, either at Marrara Oval in Darwin or Traeger Park in Alice Springs.
The team was formerly selected from the best available players from several leagues around Australia, however since 2007 no player from outside the AFL competition has been selected in the squad. The AFL promotes the concept as recognition of the indigenous Australians contribution to the national competition, with approximately one in ten AFL players identifying as an Indigenous Australian.
The AFL has been criticised for letting its clubs prevent the All-Stars from selecting its top Indigenous senior players, or for placing restrictions on their game time. Additionally, the competing club side often treats the match as a preseason practice match, such that winning the match is less important then developing young players or building match fitness prior to the regular season. Despite this, the match remains popular with spectators in the Northern Territory.
The best on ground for the Indigenous All-Stars is awarded the Polly Farmer Medal which is in honour of Graham Farmer.
Sponsorship and naming rights
Until 2005 the All-Stars were sponsored by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, who had naming rights over the team. After the abolition of ATSIC, the team was renamed from Aboriginal All-Stars to Indigenous All-Stars. Since 2006 the team has been sponsored by Qantas through the AFL Kickstart indigenous program.
|Year||Date||Opponent||Result||Stadium||Captain (vice-captain)||Coach||Best (Polly Farmer Medal)||Crowd|
|1983||1 October||Richmond Football Club/Mildura||All-Stars 37.11 (233) def Richmond/Mildura 14.11 (95)||Sarah Oval, Mildura||Stephen Michael||Michael Wanganeen||Rex Handy||3,500|
|1994||12 February||Collingwood Football Club||All-Stars 13.10 (88) def Collingwood 10.8 (68)||Marrara Oval, Darwin||Michael McLean||Maurice Rioli||Fabian Francis||15,000|
|2003||7 February||Carlton Football Club||All-Stars 19.16 (130) def Carlton 8.9 (57)||Marrara Oval, Darwin||Andrew McLeod||Michael McLean||Adam Goodes||17,500|
|2005||5 February||Western Bulldogs||All-Stars 12.19 (91) def Western Bulldogs 10.3 (63)||Marrara Oval, Darwin||Darryl White (Chris Johnson)||Michael McLean||Daniel Wells||8,500|
|2007||11 February||Essendon Football Club||Essendon 14.9 (93) def All-Stars 6.7 (43)||Marrara Oval, Darwin||Andrew McLeod||Michael McLean||Andrew McLeod||13,119|
|2009||7 February||Adelaide Crows||All-Stars 14.13 (97) def Adelaide 6.7 (43)||Marrara Oval, Darwin||Andrew McLeod (Shaun Burgoyne)||Chris Johnson||Matt Campbell||9,497|
|2011||4 February||Richmond Tigers||Match cancelled due to inclement weather||N/A||Adam Goodes||Michael O'Loughlin||N/A||N/A|
|2013||8 February||Richmond Tigers||All-Stars 14.6 (90) def Richmond 6.4 (40)||Traeger Park, Alice Springs||Nathan Lovett-Murray||Michael O'Loughlin||Harley Bennell||8,350|
|2015||20 February||West Coast Eagles||All-Stars 5.11 (41) def. by West Coast 7.7 (49)||Leederville Oval, Perth||Shaun Burgoyne (Jarrod Harbrow)||Andy Lovell||Shaun Burgoyne||10,000|
The Indigenous All Stars have also competed in the annual International Rules Series, representing Australia in the hybrid sport which consists elements of Gaelic football and Australian rules football. For the 2013 Series a 33-man squad was chosen, which was reduced to 21-man touring party:
The Indigenous team lost the series 2-0 and by a record 173-72 aggregate point margin.
Polly Farmer Medal
The Polly Farmer Medal is awarded each game to the best Indigenous All-Stars player.
- Indigenous All Stars to Represent Australia in 2013 International Rules Series
- Edmund, Sam (9 February 2013). "Richmond no match for indigenous hunger, speed". Herald Sun. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- Ryan, Peter (7 February 2013). "Youngers head up All-Stars squad". Australian Football League. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- Malcom, Alex (20 February 2015). "Eagles edge out All Stars as Wellingham, Burgoyne dominate". AFL.com.au. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- "2015 Indigenous All Stars Team details". Triple M. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.