The Community and High Performance completed an important milestone on Thursday, with representatives from the local Aboriginal community, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Souths Cares, Randwick City Council, ADCO Constructions and students from St. Andrews Cathedral School coming together for a Smoking Ceremony at the new building in Heffron Park.

The event commenced with a Welcome to Country from proud Bidjigal and Gweagal woman, Aunty Barb Simms. Aunty Barb shared her cultural knowledge with the group and discussed the history and significance of the local area as well as the long and proud affiliation the South Sydney Rabbitohs have had with the local Aboriginal community.

Uncle Dean Kelly was then joined by Kevin Heath, to facilitate the Smoking Ceremony of the Community and High Performance Centre. The cultural practice involves cleansing the area and guests with the smoke from native plants, to signify new beginnings.

Michael Kouknas, Construction Manager at ADCO shared an update on the project build which is on track for completion later this year.

ADCO utilized the occasion to announce a generous donation of $75,000 to Souths Cares to support the charity’s community programs. Michael explained it was honour to be affiliated with Souths Cares and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

“Souths Cares’ community impact is huge and they are the leading charity affiliated with sport within Sydney, if not Australia. ADCO is thrilled to be able to support Souths Cares and look forward to seeing their initiatives develop further through the Community and High Performance Centre”, Michael said.

Alisha Parker-Elrez, Souths Cares General Manager explained it was important to launch the Community and High Performance Centre with culture at the forefront.

“It was great to kick off the launch for the Community and High Performance Centre in a culturally appropriate way, by being welcomed to country by Aunty Barb and then participating in a Smoking Ceremony with Uncle Dean.

We are looking forward to the completion of the building which will enable us increase our capacity to deliver community programs”, Alisha said.

The state-of-the-art Community and High Performance Centre will transform the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Souths Cares’ operations across three key pillars of high performance, football pathways and community impact.

Acknowledgement of country

Acknowledgement of country

South Sydney Rabbitohs and Souths Cares acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land in which we work, live and learn. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging, and extend our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. We acknowledge that this land is, was and always will be Aboriginal land.

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