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In NSW the largest gathering of Aboriginal people occurs over the October long weekend with the highly anticipated Koori Rugby League Knockout. It's a ferocious, fast-paced tournament where each losing side is mercilessly "knocked out" of the competition. As well as the prize money and accolades the overall winners are also charged with hosting the following year's event.
The importance of the Knockout to Aboriginal communities in NSW, and to our sporting heritage, has been highlighted in the Library's Indigenous Collecting Strategy.
Aboriginal photographer Barbara McGrady has followed the Knockout for a number of years documenting players and their supporters. The Library has recently acquired a series of Barbara's Knockout photos from the 2014 (Raymond Terrace) and 2015 (Dubbo) competitions. The photos reflect Barbara's familiarity with the players as well as capturing the color and spectacle of the event.
Team and spectator numbers have grown exponentially since the Knockout started in 1971. The 2016 Knockout was hosted by the Redfern All Blacks at Leichhardt Oval in Lilyfield with 62 men's and 16 women's teams. The Redfern All Blacks men's side was again victorious defeating the Newcastle All Blacks 42 to 12.