Queanbeyan Kanberri Connections was created to facilitate culturally and socially inclusive activities to enable the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community’s to thrive.
Rugby League and sport in general has imbedded itself into modern Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Recognising this we endeavour to use sport and other social avenues to promote healthy and active living, social emotional well-being, educational, employment and economic pathways.
Queanbeyan & Kanberri are Ngunnawal words for Queanbeyan and Canberra which are the communities we aim to serve. Kanberri was originally a meeting place where different nations would gather. This often aligned with the migration of the Bogong Moth, which is the centre piece of our logo. The word Connections makes up the last part of our name and will be an important part of our story as Kanberri has continued to a be meeting place over time meaning that we have vast and diverse communities.
Some have always been here, some who come and go and others that came and never left. No matter what though, connections are formed and last forever.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are amongst the most disadvantaged in the country. We continue to see a disparity across education and employment outcomes. With far too many becoming a victim of the justice system or worse suicide. Compounded further by the fact that our people are dying on average 16 years earlier than other Australians.
In 2015 we lost local Queanbeyan man Mal (Mallyboy) Wighton to a heart attack at the young age of 43. He became the inspiration to build a rugby league team in his memory to participate in the annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rugby league knockouts. This team has evolved into the Queanbeyan Kanberri Connections which honour the ones that we have lost and aim to prevent lives lost into the future.