On a picturesque Thursday morning, players and support staff returned to the Club with a traditional Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, conducted by Aunty Di Kerr, N'arweet Aunty Carolyn Briggs and Dave Tournier.
The ceremony included an inspiring message of ‘having purpose in everything that we do’, encouraging players to reflect on the coming year and achievements both on and off the field.
Aunty Di and daughter Melissa Kerr hail from Woi-Wurring and N'arweet Aunty Carolyn and Dave Tournier from Boon Wurrung, with all taking part in the ceremony.
Incidentally, it was also day one for Indigenous draftee Arthur Jones, with the youngster thrilled to have a special morning with his new teammates.
“This morning we had a Smoking Ceremony, that was great,” Jones said.
“We had two elders come in, they’re lovely people. I am a proud Yamaji and Noongar from Western Australia obviously.”
“Having that opening was really welcoming and now after having the ceremony this feels like home, which is a really proud feeling.”
“It has been so special to see Travis Varcoe and how he connected with the ceremony as a coach and Jamarra obviously being from here.”
“It was really special to have the Traditional Owners of this land to welcome me in and officially become a Bulldog.”