The Murri Rugby League Carnival was officially launched yesterday by the Honourable Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health at the Wynnum Manly Junior Rugby League Football Club.
Minister Wyatt announced that $607,350 in funding over the next three years would be provided as a contribution to ensure the event continues to build on its extraordinary sporting and health success. It was announced that the Carnival will be held for the first time in Townsville in 2018.
The Carnival is a smoke, drug, alcohol and sugar free event and all players must complete a health check as a requirement to participate.
The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) General Manager, Sector Development, Wayne Ah Boo attended the launch and said QAIHC has proudly been involved with the Murri Rugby League Carnival since its inception in 2011 and is now looking forward to its continuation over the next three years.
“The Murri Rugby League Carnival isn’t just a football carnival, it plays an important role as one of the major health promotion events in Queensland, which contributes to improved health literacy and access to services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” said Mr Ah Boo.
The benefits of the carnival are evidenced in the national Medicare results for 2016/17, with Queensland having the highest number of annual health checks at 80,343 and the highest take-up rate per population at 37.2%.
“QAIHC greatly appreciates the support of the Minister and the Australian Government for the continuation of the Carnival over the next three years,” said Mr Ah Boo.
“It will allow QAIHC to continue its partnership with the Arthur Beetson Foundation and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and its nationally recognised and acclaimed Deadly Choices program.
“With the carnival being held in Townsville for the first time this year, it means our partnerships will extend to the Bindal Sharks and our local Member Service the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service.
“We look forward to working with everyone to make the 2018 Murri Rugby League Carnival a success in North Queensland and to continue to contribute to improving health outcomes for our communities in Queensland,” said Mr Ah Boo.