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In conjunction with NAIDOC Week celebrations, the Pirtek Parramatta Eels were delighted to have rugby league's One Community Ambassador and former State of Origin, Cronulla and South Sydney player David Peachey present for this particular game day.

Peachey, an honorary Parramatta Eel as well as a member of the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council, embraced the Blue and Gold Army to support the Eels in their battle against the Penrith Panthers, unfortunately seeing the Eels defeated 17-10.

The pre-game NAIDOC week celebrations could not have run more smoothly, with Dean Widders raising the flag and Richard Killian delivering an acknowledgement of country. The crowds were then treated a traditional Aboriginal performance by a group of talented dancers.

Peacheys role in the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council is to provide strategic advice on Indigenous issues in the game to the NRL and the Commission.

Its fantastic. I think that Parramatta taking on the initiative of celebrating NAIDOC week is something that hopefully a lot of clubs jump on board with," he said.

Its good to see that so many indigenous people are getting recognised and playing at the NRL level."

To honour his heritage, Eels halfback Luke Kelly wore specially designed boots that had been painted in the Indigenous art style, which seemed to have worked a treat as he managed to score a fantastic try after a 40 metre run at the end of the first half of the match.

Peachey says Kellys efforts were outstanding.

This is what rugby league is all about, so its good to be a part of," he said.

Just the theme of what NAIDOC celebrates and how very multicultural this country is and using rugby league is a good way to get our themes out there.

David Peachey is a fine ambassador for the Indigenous community, also involved in the establishment of The David Peachey Foundation in 2004. The foundation supports the development of young Indigenous leadership and working to improve health outcomes.

When asked how he was finding watching the game from a suite at Parramatta Stadium, Peachey laughed and replied;

Its one of the joys of being part of the Indigenous Council. To be a part of the whole celebrations here at Parramatta is something that we can look back and say this was a first and hopefully theres many more to come."
Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels 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.

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