Referees’ Uniforms Turned Blue at ‘Deadly Cup’ Rugby League Carnival

To raise awareness about diabetes eye care, referees’ uniforms were turned blue for the Deadly Cup Carnival, a Rugby League Carnival held during NAIDOC week in Darwin on Sunday 18 July 2021

Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) proudly supported the 2021 ‘Deadly Cup’ Carnival, which set out to make it bigger and ‘deadly-er’ than last year. They have delivered on this by holding one of the largest NAIDOC week celebrations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples in the Northern Territory.

Deadly cup carnival - images by Mills Photography and Lara Castro

deadly cup carnival -flag bearers

NAIDOC opening ceremony

Images: Deadly Cup Opening Ceremony (We would like to acknowledge Mills Photography and Lara Castro for photos supplied)

The second annual Carnival, hosted by Indigenous enterprise ‘Deadly Enterprises’, in partnership with NRL NT, is centred around a rugby league carnival and has a strong focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander culture, pride, health and wellbeing.

We are proud to host the event and to provide an opportunity for our community to engage with the many health and community service providers that are here to support our mob”, says Deadly Enterprises Director Shaun Tatipata*, “to hold this during NAIDOC week is a real privilege and it allows us to celebrate our culture, our community, our contributions to Australia and our young and deadly rugby league players

IEH staff at the deadly cup carnival with organiser Shaun TatipataImage: IEH community engagement team member Nick with Deadly Enterprises Director Shaun Tatipata.

IEH also supported and participated in a range of Carnival activities to support its vision on health and wellbeing and its contributions to close the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The NRL NT referees were central to these activities and donned the shirts from IEH’s diabetes eye care campaign, ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ to generate awareness and encourage yearly eye checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with diabetes.  The shirts were originally created through community art workshops held in Looma in Western Australia, Deception Bay in Queensland and Ballarat in Victoria during the development of Check Today, See Tomorrow. The Deadly Cup referee shirts also feature the desert water story from artist Matt Robert.

deadly cup carnival - umpire with players

deadly cup carnival - umpire with players in scrummageImages: NRL NT referees wearing the 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' t-shirt with Deadly Cup Players in action. (We would like to acknowledge Mills Photography)

THE IEH community engagement team also ran a promotional booth at the Carnival sharing other important eye health messages including the importance of facial cleanliness and good hygiene to prevent trachoma and other infections. The team promoted an exciting new augmented reality app that brings ‘Milpa’s Six Steps to Stop Germs’ to life in an engaging and immersive experience for children, teachers and families. Further details and to download app can be found here. The NT’s favourite mascot, Milpa the goanna also made an appearance!

IEH staff at the deadly cup carnival stall

Images: (Above) IEH community engagement team - Nick, Walter and Lesley. (Below) IEH community engagement team - Lesley and Nick with Milpa

IEH staff at the deadly cup carnival with Milpa

We had a great time at the 2021 Deadly Cup Carnival, the event provided us with a range of ways to engage community members in conversations about eye health and promote our two eye health promotion campaigns ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ and ‘Clean Faces, Strong Eyes’ says Nick Wilson, Senior Engagement Officer with Indigenous Eye Health, ‘the referee shirts looked fantastic and provided an opportunity to raise awareness about yearly eye checks for our mob living with diabetes

The 2021 Deadly Cup Carnival has again showcased a great example of strong leadership, collaboration and local commitment to the promotion of health lifestyles, as well as providing an important opportunity to have fun while working together to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. IEH looks forward to next year’s bigger and ‘deadly-er’ Deadly Cup Carnival! For full coverage and wrap up details of the 2021 Deadly Cup Carnival visit the Facebook page Deadly Cup Carnival

deadly cup carnival program

Image: Game day program

* Shaun Tatipata, Director of Deadly Enterprises is currently also employed part time by IEH at The University of Melbourne as an Academic Specialist in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health leadership