UNSW teamed up with the Sydney Swans to provide an unforgettable experience for over 100 of our students. The occasion was the Marn Grook round, paying our respects to our rich Indigenous culture, which saw the Sydney Swans AFLW team take on the Hawthorn Hawks at the iconic Henson Park in Marrickville. With over 4,500 people in attendance on the day to witness a great game with the Hawks prevailing in the end 40-26.

One of the highlights of the day was the presence of UNSW student Montana Ham, who played a pivotal role for the Swans. Montana Ham's achievements serve as a source of inspiration for her fellow students and exemplify the university's commitment to fostering athletic talent while still being able to study a degree. 

The significance of the Marn Grook round cannot be understated, as it is a momentous occasion in the AFL calendar that pays homage to the Indigenous culture and heritage of Australia and history of the AFL. A noteworthy aspect of the event was the Indigenous guernseys worn by both teams, which were designed by Swans player, Aliesha Newman. These guernseys served as a symbol of respect and recognition for the Indigenous communities, highlighting the cultural significance of the day. This partnership is about more than just sports; it's about building bridges between communities and fostering a sense of belonging.

Some of our UNSW students up on the hill watching the action unfold.
Some of our UNSW students up on the hill watching the action unfold.

For many of the 100 students in attendance, the Marn Grook round was their first-ever live sporting event. On a beautiful sunny Saturday, plenty of food and beverage stalls, it was the perfect afternoon to watch the footy on the Henson Park hill with a few of your fellow students. The experiences offered to students go beyond entertainment – they provide a chance to engage with the values and principles that underpin both organizations. Earlier this year, UNSW students were fortunate to experience another special event in the form of the Pride Round, held in June, between the men’s side vs St Kilda. 

As we reflect on the success of the Marn Grook round and the ongoing partnership between UNSW and the Sydney Swans, it becomes clear that this collaboration embodies the true spirit of Australian culture. It's a blend of sport, education, diversity, and community engagement. As the partnership evolves and new events and initiatives emerge, there is no doubt that UNSW students will continue to benefit from these unique experiences. It's not just about the games; it's about the values and principles that underpin them. A big thank you to Arc Sport for organising the students on the day ensuring they were given the full sporting experience!