The Recognition Sports Festival and Dinner brought sporting activity to a close in the last sitting weeks of November.
An abundance of sporting prowess was on display, with teams from Defence, AFP & First Responders, Health, the Press Gallery and the Pacific Islands coming together to play with Parliamentarians across a range of sports.
The Recognition Sports Festival honours the contributions made by those working on the front line, wherever that may be, and we are reminded daily of the challenges that confront them. In addition to the strength shown as individuals and the benefits of building physical and mental resilience through sporting endeavour we see the importance of teamwork and the values that brings, to enhancing our lives. It is a privilege for us to sample first hand the benefits teamwork brings to opponents and colleagues alike.
Community Street Football - The Big Issue Parliamentary Cup
The Big Issue Parliamentary Cup attracted the largest number of parliamentarians ever to take part in a parliamentary sporting fixture. With the added bonus of Australia v France on the big screen (with thanks to Football Australia) Jerome Laxale's citizenship credentials were sorely tested before he came good on and off the pitch. Fittingly, the Cup was won by the team from Community Street Football fending off stiff opposition from the Parliamentarians, the French Embassy and the Recognition Front line workers.
The annual Press v Pollies cricket game for the Peter Veness Cup saw a change of fortune with a first win since 2017 for the Parliamentarians. Played at the magnificent EPC Solar Oval just weeks before it was graced by the West Indies, the Press batted first and were restricted to 144-9 with Henry Pike (3-20) and Owen Torpy (2-30) pick of the bowlers. In other years the target would be daunting but Aaron Violi with 50* led the Pollies to a comfortable victory with 5 wickets and 5 overs to spare.
There is no more important part of the Frontline than the work being undertaken by UNICEF and we kicked off the week in support of UNICEF World Children’s Day with a great match against UNICEF’s Young Ambassadors.
Terry Young and Rick Wilson lead the way at Royal Canberra with members of the Defence and AFP Golf Society's.
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan takes on Dr David Gillespie and colleagues from the front line.
Cricket was the winner and the Pollies were given a confidence boost as they prepare to recover the Parliamentary Ashes from the Lords & Commons cricket team led by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Parliamentarians, Defence, Health, AFP and Pacific Islanders put on some champagne rugby at Portsea Oval, RMC Duntroon featuring Gordon Reid on debut.
UNICEF Young Ambassadors playing the world game.
Touch football teams combine to share the spirit of the Recognition Festival.
Sport for All & Sport Diplomacy
The Festival dinner concluded with remarkable insights from our panellists. Olympian Lou Dobson in conversation with fellow Olympian and ASF board member Kim Brennan, Paralympian Emily Petricola, Community Street Football advisor Gavin Jackman and Samoan Rugby International Dan Leo explored the benefit sport brings to those less fortunate and how it can be used to improve, enrich and empower people's lives. The stories were inspiring.
Minister for Veterans Affairs and Defence Personnel, Hon Matt Keogh MP talks about the value of sport in Defence and most particularly the outcomes achieved through the Invictus programme.
Hon Pat Conroy MP Minister for International Development and the Pacific explains the opportunities that exist to foster relationships through sport diplomacy and winning the hearts and minds of our neighbours.