Matthew Abbott/Panos Pictures

Yuendumu, Northern Territory, Australia

Led by children, the Lajamanu women's Australian Rules Football team team race on to the oval for the women's grandfinal at the Yuendumu Football Carnival. The match was played between Lajamanu and Santa Teresa. The women were welcomed onto the field with a guard of honour, the first time they've been bestowed this privilege which is usually reserved for the men's grand finalists. This year (2019) eight women's teams entered the carnival, its only the second year of having a women's competition, which started spontaneously last year when some of the women borrowed the men's jerseys.

Once a year Football teams from all over Central Australia travel to participate in the annual Yuendumu Football Carnival. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the carnival which attracted a large turnout of 17 men's and eight women's teams participating in the competition. The players are well used to travelling extreme distances on hazardous dirt roads making the journey to the hosting tribes, with some teams coming from other states. The significance of 'bush footy' for Central Australian Aboriginal communities is immeasurable. Australian Rules Football has long been described as a vehicle for social cohesion, group identity, pride and joy. It is the glue that holds the communities together.

Part of story
Object Name
Matthew Abbott/Panos Pictures
Yuendumu, Northern Territory
Max size
High Resolution
5000 x 3333 pixels
42.33 x 28.22 cm (300 dpi)
16.67 x 11.11 inch (300 dpi)
5.1 MB size on disk
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