I rise today to talk about the grand final. On Sunday, 65,000 passionate Canberra supporters travelled up the Hume for the big dance, filling the Olympic stadium with a sea of Raiders green. It was a gripping NRL grand final, and a loss that was especially hard for Raiders fans to swallow, but the Sydney Roosters held on to become the first team to win consecutive premierships since 1993, and I congratulate them.
Canberra is extremely proud of our home team and their efforts on and off the field. Community outreach has always been a hallmark of the Canberra Raiders. In 2019 they've advocated for mental wellbeing, combating domestic violence and inclusion for all. Over the season, players supported the Menslink Silence is Deadly campaign, encouraging men to speak out about mental illness; engaged with Indigenous school-to-work programs; and assisted the Score Raiders, a team of rugby league players with a disability.
Raiders player Sia Soliola winning the Ken Stephen Award for his outstanding engagement with young children facing homelessness is a testament to the community focused team that coach Ricky Stuart has built. They may have lost this time, but the Raiders will continue fighting the good fight. As we say down here in the ACT:
… don't want no blue
Don't want no white, or orange too
There's just one colour, that'll do
The fighting green of the Green Machine