Oxfam attends the NRL “Close the Gap’ Round

Campaigning for change article written on the 10 Aug 2011

Photo:OxfamAUS

Oxfam had its “Close the Gap” colours flying when campaigns team volunteers set up at the National Rugby League’s “Close the Gap” Round match last weekend between the Brisbane Broncos and the New Zealand Warriors. Now in its third year, the Close the Gap round proves a great chance to get out into the football loving crowds and tap into the big show of support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality.

It was exciting to be able to mix with all the footy fans and be part of a big national effort to tackle the tragic life expectancy gap and other health inequalities that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Hundreds of enthusiastic match goers were greeted by the calls of Oxfam volunteers encouraging spectators to support our Indigenous players and the Close the Gap campaign as they poured in from around Brisbane to the city’s beloved home of rugby league at Suncorp Stadium. Children attending the match were treated to Close the Gap balloons, tattoos and wristbands while countless parents and general spectators sought out our stall to sign their support on the Close the Gap pledge forms.

It was a passionate crowd and we were thrilled with the immense response we received from people – with numerous patrons taking the time to thank Oxfam and the Close the Gap coalition for their tireless efforts with the Close the Gap campaign and the numerous other campaigns Oxfam works on.

A word of thanks too to Dean Matters, the Broncos’ Sponsorship and Marketing Coordinator, for his enthusiastic assistance with our efforts – we’re glad you were pleased with the night’s success too and look forward to working with you again in the future.

And to top it off – a thrilling hometown win for the Broncos – by one point in the closing minutes of the game!

By Oxfam Campaigns Brisbane intern Georgina Askham