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Addo-Carr, Hynes and Lee on Indigenous Round

Ahead of NRL Indigenous Round this weekend, we spoke with Josh Addo-Carr, Nicho Hynes and Brenko Lee about what this round means to them, and why it's important to celebrate our Indigenous players and Australia's First Nations People not only for one weekend every year, but always.

"Culture gives you a sense of belonging, I'm proud of being part of the oldest living culture in the world," Foxx said.

His mother's mob is the Wiradjuri People - one of the biggest Aboriginal tribes in Australia - while his father's mob is the Gunggandji People, the traditional owners of Cairns.

"Rugby league gives you purpose and a sense of belonging too - aiming to play professionally and working hard towards that is a massive escape for kids who grew up like me.

Only a few decades ago our identity as Aboriginal people was taken from us. Rugby league has given us hope and a voice - as has AFL and other professional sports in Australia. 

Josh Addo-Carr

This year's Indigenous Jersey features a small tribute to Foxx's late grandfather, Australian boxing icon Wally Carr.

Young artist Ky-ya Nicholson Ward designed the jersey and had Wally's name and a pair of boxing gloves printed on the collar.

Foxx said the jersey is among his favourite Storm jerseys during his four years at the club.

"We’re wrapt to be able to wear it because it represents our culture. It shows the round is for us, the traditional owners of the land we play on.

"Rugby league is part of our identity now."

Nicho Hynes is also a proud Wiradjuri man who grew up idolising Johnathan Thurston.

"I grew up on the Central Coast so I also like to pay my respects to the Darkinjung mob, as well as the Mingaletta mob in Umina who have helped my mum, my brother and I out heaps," he said.

My Aboriginal culture means a lot to me. It’s something I’m very proud of. I’m continuing to learn more and more about my culture and I’m loving it.

Nicho Hynes

"This round means massive amounts to every Indigenous person who plays or supports rugby league. It recognises the amazing culture Australia is lucky to have and I’m grateful the NRL has this round.

"This year's jersey is amazing. Ky-ya has done a terrific job designing it.

"If I’m selected in the team to be able to wear it, that would mean the world."

Brenko Lee's father is from Badu Island in the Torres Strait.

For me this round means a lot - my culture is what guides me through life and I grew up with discipline and respect for my elders because of my culture.

Brenko Lee

"This round means a lot to all of us Indigenous boys. It acknowledges our history and where we have come from."

Lee said it was special to hear from Ky-ya about the meaning behind the jersey design.

"Ky-ya explained the symbolism and how it represents who we are at the Melbourne Storm and what makes Storm players special," he said.

"She did an outstanding job and we will wear it with pride."

Download our July Kids Hub for more on Indigenous Round:

Kids Hub - Indigenous Round.pdf

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.