Local Community Winner On Day

Department of Defence

Community engagement was the name of the game when members of the 4th Brigade took to the field at Sir Douglas Nicholls Oval in Thornbury, Victoria, for an historic Australian Rules double-header.

In its third year, the Indigenous Community Engagement Day earlier in the month, organised by the 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse Regiment, encouraged camaraderie and celebrated diversity within the community.

In addition to the regular men’s match with the 4th Brigade and Fitzroy Stars playing for the John Stewart Murray Shield, the day also featured a women’s match for the first time.

The combined women’s side, featuring players from the 4th Brigade, the Fitzroy Stars and the Army AFL women’s team, played against the established Wesley Collegians side in the day’s curtain-raiser.

Private Hinda Redzic had the honour of becoming the first female 4th Brigade player to kick a goal.

Captain-coach Captain Emily Mirabella said players had trained in the lead-up, but the game day was the first time the team had come together as a whole, and she was proud of the team’s performance, despite a 13.7 (85) to 3.2 (20) loss.

“It was great to integrate a number of women’s programs on the day,” Captain Mirabella said.

“But I think what’s important from the day is that we’ve now set a precedent for being able to do this again.”

In the men’s match, the Fitzroy Stars showed their class from the outset, with five goals on the board in quick succession. Coach of the 4th Brigade team, Captain Lawson Smart, said he took heart from a stronger performance in the second half, when some sustained passages of good play through the midfield were rewarded on the scoreboard.

“The third quarter and a bit of the fourth quarter we were really putting the pressure on and forced them into some mistakes and showed we can really play,” Captain Smart said, who was in his third and final year of organising the game.

“I feel like this year we had a stronger team, despite the result.”

Fitzroy Stars’ dominant performance resulted in a 25.15 (165) to 4.7 (31) win.

“It was a great game, played in good spirit, and we helped each other up regardless of what team you were from. We looked after each other and I think that’s what really counts at the end of the day,” he said.

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