Yesterday, Indonesia’s acting Consul-General in Saigon, Mr Sunarmin Sunggono, confirmed he will present the trophy to the winning team in the match between the Vietnam Swans and the Bali Geckos to be held in Saigon on 28 March.
National President of the Vietnam Swans, Phil Johns said that both the Geckos and the Swans were honoured that the acting Consul-General would present the trophy.
“It’s a symbolic gesture by our two Aussie Rules clubs, one of which is based in Indonesia, to thank the people of Indonesia for supporting Australia during our hour of need in the bushfire crisis”, explained Johns.
Saturday, 7 February 2009, has become known, of course, as “Black Saturday”. Four days after our most fierce firestorm in history, the Indonesian President,
In the spirit of the Australia-Indonesia partnership, Australia’s success is also Indonesia’s success. And, its misery is also Indonesia’s misery.
President Yudhoyono (with Australia’s blessing) authorised an Indonesian forensic team to travel to Australia to identify bushfire victims and also pledged $1 million towards the rebuilding of destroyed schools. The “funds are a token of Indonesia’s solidarity with Australia”, added a spokesman.
The symbolism of Indonesia’s actions was powerful. Previously, Australia had supported Indonesia during her hours of needs (eg the Bali bombings and the tsunami). Now, Indonesia was offering support to Australia during our hour of need.
Those most in need in Australia were the devastated local communities – communities where sporting clubs and footy clubs are often the lifeblood.
Accordingly, the Bali Geckos and Vietnam Swans both believed that it would be very fitting for our two local footy communities to use a match of Aussie Rules, Australia’s signature sport, as a vehicle to pay tribute to the Indonesians.
Thank you Indonesia and we look forward to hosting the acting Consul-General on match day.
On the weekend of the footy match, the Bali Geckos and Vietnam Swans will raise money for the Yarra Valley Mountain District League (YMDL). The YMDL covers the worst affected townships of Marysville and Kinglake and will play a major role in rebuilding the communities. The Bali Geckos circulated details of this bush fire fund to all footy clubs in Asia back on 17 February.