Pictures: Our visit to Barangaroo Reserve

We continued to learn more about Australia on Friday when we visited Barangaroo Reserve, a waterfront park where visitors can connect with the world’s oldest living culture.

Per Mertesacker, Sead Kolasinac and Francis Coquelin, along with chief executive Ivan Gazidis, met renowned environmental educator Clarence Slockee to explore the site’s rich Aboriginal history and learn about its cultural significance. 

They met native wildlife and took part in traditions such as playing a didgeridoo and a welcome smoking ceremony before being joined by a group of young children from the Tribal Warrior Association, which provides economic and social stability for aboriginal people with a focus on youth. The youngsters performed a series of ancient dances and encouraged the Arsenal entourage to join in.

During the visit, Gazidis confirmed a £25,000 donation will be made by The Arsenal Foundation to the Tribal Warrior Association. The money will fund a mentoring programme designed to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth of all ages a supportive family environment.

Ivan said: “We’ve had the most warm welcome from our supporters in Australia since landing in Sydney on Tuesday and we thank everyone for the incredible reception. Today’s visit allowed us to connect with Australian culture and learn more about its rich heritage.

“We’re delighted to support the work of Tribal Warrior, which reflects what we have been doing with young people in Arsenal’s local community around our home in north London for over 30 years.  Arsenal has a long tradition of giving back to its community and, as its global community grows, so does our potential to reach more disadvantaged young people.”

Tribal Warrior Association chief executive and chairman Shane Phillips added: “This donation will enable Tribal Warrior to fund more excursions to places of cultural significance in New South Wales and will assist with the mentoring programme, a grassroots community and referral initiative. 

"The programme seeks to re-engage young people in their own Indigenous culture and give them a positive outlook on life. As Tribal Warrior Association is a non-profit community organisation, donations and support are essential to drive new ideas and training opportunities for our people and community.”

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