Supercars launches Indigenous round in Darwin

Supercars and the Northern Territory Major Events Company has officially launched its Indigenous Round in Darwin, ahead of a full-blown 2022 initiative.

The annual pilgrimage to the Hidden Valley Raceway at the Top End is set to be celebrated by the category and its teams.

Earlier this year, Supercars chief operating officer Shane Howard confirmed the Darwin event would become the championship’s designated Indigenous round.

That’s seen teams and drivers get behind the celebrations with special liveries and helmets.

It’s anticipated the lion’s share of the Supercars field next year will embrace an element of Aboriginal culture for the event.

Supercars will encourage teams to work with Aboriginal artists from their respective regions to design artwork specifically for them.

“The Territory’s Aboriginal culture is one of the most vibrant things about this incredible place,” said Tim Watsford, Northern Territory Major Events Company CEO.

“By developing the official Indigenous Round we want to highlight this important part of our cultural heritage, and celebrate everything it brings to the Territory.”

To coincide with the official launch of the Indigenous round, an artwork was commissioned by Territory Larrakia artist Trent Lee.

The artwork celebrates Hidden Valley Raceway, with a snake taking the shape of the circuit layout.

The surrounding Larrakia land, sea, and people are also represented in the artwork, which will be a centrepiece of next year’s event.

“I’m so proud to be involved in this year’s Merlin Darwin Triple Crown,” Lee said.

“Seeing local Aboriginal culture showcased through a massive event like this is fantastic.

“My artwork represents how sport brings people from all walks of life together.

“The snake is a track with the head placed at the hairpin bend, the most dangerous part.

“The clapsticks represent the different teams and the eggs symbolise all the people coming together to enjoy and celebrate the event.”

Howard added, “We are thrilled to be working with the Northern Territory Government, Northern Territory Major Events Company and Larrakia Nation to acknowledge Darwin as the Indigenous Round of the Repco Supercars Championship

“Through initiatives such as the Indigenous Round and programs such as Racing Together, we want to introduce Indigenous people to the event, our sport and the teams, and to work with the local community.

“This is a fantastic initiative and we look forward to returning for next year’s Indigenous Round at Hidden Valley.”

Drivers took part in a smoking ceremony during Thursday’s signing session on the Darwin waterfront.

A Welcome to Country will take place by Larrakia community members during the weekend.

Richard Fejo, chairperson of Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation, expressed his gratitude for the recognition.

“To showcase our Aboriginal culture on the traditional lands of the Larrakia people is such an honour, not only for our people but for Aboriginal communities around Australia as we work towards creating an Indigenous Round for next year’s Supercars,” he said.

“This is an important step forward and it is a privilege to be part of something special that embraces Aboriginal culture and increases awareness and respect of our traditions and heritage.”

Opening practice at the 2021 Darwin Triple Crown for the Supercars Championship field begins at 11:55 AEST today.

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