8 October 2019

Congratulations to the 2019 NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout Winners

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) congratulates the South Coast Black Cockatoos and the Wellington Wedgetails on winning the 2019 Koori Knockout, held at the Central Coast Regional Sporting and Recreation Complex in Tuggerah.

South Coast progressed through the early rounds before turning in their best performances of the tournament when it mattered most, beating Griffith Three Ways in the Men's Final 40-12.

The victory means the 50th Koori Knockout will be held in the South Coast area in 2020.

The Wellington Wedgetails won a cliff-hanger in the women's decider, coming from behind to beat Bellbrook Dunghutti Connections 6-4.

NSWALC Chair, Councillor Anne Dennis congratulated both winners and applauded the high standard of sportsmanship and competition from all participating teams across the long weekend.

"This was special for South Coast because not only is it their first win at the Knockout, the Black Cockatoos were formed by Ben Wellington and his sister Mel, in memory of their brother James Wellington, who passed away just over a year ago," Cr Dennis said.

James won his first Koori Knockout 21 years ago with the Nambucca Valley Rams, and another two with the Redfern All Blacks.

Cr Dennis said James' dream was to have a strong South Coast side, because in previous years local talent had to play for teams outside of their area.

"The Black Cockatoos played and won for a brother at the weekend and is a wonderful example of the family and community pride the Knockout is famous for."

NSWALC has supported the Koori Knockout for decades and this year approved a grant of $80,000 to the organisers for team registration fees, as well as securing $200,000 in Federal Government funding for the next four years to support the Knockout.

Councillor Dennis says NSWALC looks forward to working with the South Coast organisers in the leadup to the 50th anniversary event.

"The Knockout is a key part of Aboriginal life in this state. NSWALC understands how important it is to work together to help teams get to the Knockout. We're excited about continuing our contribution to NSW's biggest sporting and cultural event."