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Demons adopt Indigenous name for AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round

Lauren Wood, May 26, 2022 7:00PM Kids News

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Melbourne stars Steven May (left) and Jack Viney (right) wear their club’s Indigenous round jumper, designed by Indigenous artist Ky-ya Nicholson Ward (centre). The club has also adopted its traditional Indigenous name, Narrm, for the Indigenous round. Picture: Ben Gibson/Melbourne Football Club media_cameraMelbourne stars Steven May (left) and Jack Viney (right) wear their club’s Indigenous round jumper, designed by Indigenous artist Ky-ya Nicholson Ward (centre). The club has also adopted its traditional Indigenous name, Narrm, for the Indigenous round. Picture: Ben Gibson/Melbourne Football Club

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Melbourne Football Club has adopted its traditional Indigenous name for two rounds of the AFL season in a move players hope will prompt important conversations.

The Demons are being known as Narrm Football Club for rounds 10 and 11, while the club’s women’s team will also play as Narrm in the AFLW Indigenous round later in the year.

Demons defender and proud Indigenous player Steven May said he was “extremely proud” of the initiative*, which has seen an entire rebrand of all club logos and jumpers for the two weeks that make up the Indigenous round – known as the Sir Doug Nicholls Round – from May 20-29.

2022 Sir Doug Nicholls Round Launch Media Opportunity media_cameraThe AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round celebrates Indigenous players and culture. Picture: AFL Photos via Getty Images

“It’s something I never really thought was going to happen,” May said. “Just to be recognised during those two rounds is always special for our friends and family back home.

“To be called an Indigenous name like Narrm for the couple of weeks is really special.”

May, who is from Larrakia land in the Northern Territory, said the club had “come a long way” and he hoped adopting the traditional Indigenous name would prompt further conversation and education about Indigenous culture.

Club chief executive Gary Pert said renaming the Demons as the Narrm Football Club for the Indigenous round would raise both awareness and “debate”, and described the move as a “very big step” in the club’s history.

The club consulted Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation to get knowledge and permission to use the Woi wurrung word for Melbourne.

The club has also released a range of Narrm merchandise, with all profits going towards its Indigenous programs.

Indigenous Round media_cameraAFL players show off their teams’ 2022 Indigenous jumpers. In the back row from the left are Ben Long of St Kilda, Jy Simpkin of North Melbourne, Jordan Roughead of Collingwood, Jarman Impey of Hawthorn, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan of the Western Bulldogs, Brandan Parfitt of Geelong, Jesse Motlop of Carlton and Toby Bedford of Narrm (Melbourne), with Maurice Rioli of Richmond and Tex Wanganeen of Essendon in front.

Why Narrm?
Narrm is the traditional Aboriginal name for Melbourne.

Narrm encompasses* the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation. The Kulin Nation is a collection of five Aboriginal nations: the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Wathaurrung, Taungurung and Dja Dja Wurrung.

Melbourne Football Club’s spiritual home of the MCG is on traditional Wurundjeri land and is within the broader area traditionally known as Narrm.

Narrm comes from Woi wurrung, the language spoken by the traditional owners of Melbourne and its surrounds.

As the name Narrm is being translated from verbal language, there are several variations of the spelling. Narrm, Naarm and Nairm are all commonly used and accepted.

Indigenous Sport Month logo for Kids News media_cameraKids News is highlighting Indigenous sport stories to celebrate Indigenous Sport Month.


  • initiative: an important action intended to solve a problem
  • encompasses: includes or holds within


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  1. What is the traditional Indigenous name for Melbourne?
  2. What is the AFL’s Indigenous round known as?
  3. How long will Melbourne Football Club go by the traditional Indigenous name for Melbourne?
  4. Which Indigenous football player is quoted in this story?
  5. Which traditional language does this Indigenous name for Melbourne come from?


1. Create a banner
Create a special design for the banner that the Narrm Footy Club players will run through before their game.

Time: allow 45 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Visual Communication Design, Visual Arts, Civics and Citizenship

2. Extension
Melbourne’s players hope that using their traditional indigenous name will start “important conversations”. What do you think these conversations should be about? List as many topics or ideas that you can think of and write an explanation of why they are important.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability, Civics and Citizenship

Read with Kung Fu punctuation
Pair up with the article between you and stand up to make it easy to demonstrate your Kung Fu punctuation.

Practise reading one sentence at a time. Now read it again, while acting out the punctuation as you read.

Read and act three sentences before swapping with your partner.

Take two turns each.

Now ask your partner to read a sentence out loud while you try and act out the punctuation. Can you keep up? Swap over?

Try acting out two sentences – are you laughing yet?

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