• AFL celebrates 2021 Toyota AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Rounds across both weeks of matches
  • The 2021 Sir Doug Nicholls Round theme - ‘Our Legacy – This is Us'.
  • Footy returns to the Northern Territory in both rounds

The AFL has today released the dates and times for Rounds 11 and 12 of the Toyota AFL Premiership Season and together the rounds will form the 2021 Toyota Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Both weekends of matches formally celebrating the impact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and the contributions to Australian Football by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, past and present and how they continue to inspire generations of Australians.

All 18 clubs will wear specially designed Guernseys to commemorate the occasion.

The Sir Doug Nicholls Rounds will be launched in a Friday night blockbuster between top of the table Western Bulldogs and Melbourne from Marvel Stadium, followed by footy under the bright Saturday night lights in Darwin at TIO Stadium as the Gold Coast SUNS host Hawthorn.

Sunday afternoon will see Sydney Swans' annual Marngrook game against Carlton at the SCG.

Round 11 also sees Collingwood host the Geelong Cats in a Saturday afternoon blockbuster at the MCG and Port Adelaide host Fremantle in a top eight clash on Sunday afternoon at the Adelaide Oval.

Round 12 will see Friday night in Alice Springs come to life as Melbourne and the Brisbane Lions do battle at TIO Traeger Park.

Saturday night will feature the annual Dreamtime at the ‘G match between Essendon and Richmond at 7:25pm EST at the MCG, while on Sunday evening Fremantle hosts the Western Bulldogs in a Sunday evening clash at Optus Oval ahead of the WA Day public holiday Monday.

Round 12 is also the first of three rounds of the BYE with Geelong Cats, Gold Coast SUNS, GWS GIANTS, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide all having this round off.

AFL Head of Broadcasting and Scheduling Marcus King said Rounds 11 and 12 offered a special opportunity to return to the NT, along with, based on current form a competitive selection of matches.

Rounds 11 and 12 are not only a major celebration on the AFL calendar but the match-ups are looming as blockbusters across both weekends.

"It is great to be able to take games back to the Northern Territory and on behalf of the AFL I would like to thank the Northern Territory Government and our broadcast partner the Seven Network for their partnership in allowing us to showcase football in the Territory once again."

Northern Territory Government Minister for Major Events, Natasha Fyles said: "AFL is massive in the Territory. From the Top End right down to the Red Centre and out into our most remote communities, the image of young Territorians chasing down an AFL ball is a common sight.

"Many talented Aboriginal Territorians have donned a guernsey for AFL teams, and it is fitting the Sir Doug Nicholls rounds will take place in the Territory.

"This not only helps us truly celebrate the contribution Aboriginal Territorians have made to the game, but also provides an incredible opportunity for young AFL fans to see their idols in action and to know pathways exist for them to follow suit."

2021 Toyota Sir Doug Nicholls Round – Legacy

The 2021 Toyota Sir Doug Nicholls Round will celebrate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and their contribution to Australian Football, while acknowledging the individual and collective efforts of players past and present, to inspire generations of Australians.

Each year, the AFL's Sir Doug Nicholls Round runs to a theme, put in place to highlight key aspects of the round and its importance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The 2021 Sir Doug Nicholls Round theme is, ‘Our Legacy – This is Us'.

AFL Executive General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy, Tanya Hosch said this year's Sir Doug Nicholls Round will highlight the many individual and collective efforts of First Nations People's within our game, both past and present.

"The notion of Legacy is one of persistence and rising to challenges both on and off the field," Ms Hosch said.

A statue of Sir Doug and Lady Gladys Nicholls in Parliament Gardens in Melbourne. Picture: AFL Photos

"Legacy highlights the contributions from First Nations Elders of the game, such as Indigenous Team of the Century member Syd Jackson, who has once again been named as the Sir Doug Nicholls Round honouree in 2021 as result of not being able to appropriately celebrate Uncle Syd in the 2020 Season due to COVID.

"We are also encouraged to celebrate the Legacy of contemporary players, like Shaun Burgoyne who is on track to play his 400th AFL game this season, making him the first Aboriginal player in our history to reach this significant milestone.

"This is the sixth year the dedicated round has been named in honour of Sir Doug Nicholls, an icon of Australian football and someone who represents the exceptional values of the game.

"The Sir Doug Nicholls Round is always a hugely significant round in the season, and we are looking forward to it spanning two rounds of football in 2021."

"We are thrilled to be able to host two key matches across Round 11 and 12 in Darwin and Alice Springs and are grateful to host a special moment for the communities across the Top End to come together and celebrate their love for football."


Friday, May 28
Western Bulldogs v Melbourne, Marvel Stadium, 7.50pm AEST

Saturday, May 29
Collingwood v Geelong, MCG, 1.45pm AEST
Brisbane v Greater Western Sydney, Gabba, 2.10pm AEST
St Kilda v North Melbourne, Marvel Stadium, 4.35pm AEST
Gold Coast v Hawthorn, TIO Stadium, 7.10pm ACST
West Coast v Essendon, Optus Stadium, 5.40pm AWST

Sunday, May 30
Richmond v Adelaide, MCG, 1.10pm AEST
Sydney v Carlton, SCG, 3.20pm AEST
Port Adelaide v Fremantle, Adelaide Oval, 4.10pm ACST


Friday, June 4
Melbourne v Brisbane, TIO Traeger Park, 7.20pm ACST

Saturday, June 5
St Kilda v Sydney, Marvel Stadium, 1.45pm AEST
Adelaide v Collingwood, Adelaide Oval, 4.05pm ACST
Essendon v Richmond, MCG, 7.25pm AEST

Sunday, June 6
Carlton v West Coast, MCG, 3.20pm AEST
Fremantle v Western Bulldogs, Optus Stadium, 4.40pm AWST  

Byes: Geelong, Gold Coast, Greater Western Sydney, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide

Important Ticketing information: TIO Stadium, Darwin

  • Toyota AFL Premiership Round 11 Gold Coast SUNS v Hawthorn 
  • Gold Coast SUNS/ Hawthorn Members Pre-Sale Tickets on-sale – Wednesday May 5, 2021
  • Public On-Sale Tickets – Friday May 7, 2021 

Fans can secure a ticket prior to on sale by purchasing a Territory SUN  ‘reserved’ or ‘general admission’ membership at https://am.ticketmaster.com/goldcoastfc/awayhome#/ 
Important Ticketing information: TIO Traeger Park, Alice Springs

  • Toyota AFL Premiership Round 12 Melbourne v Brisbane Lions 
  • Melbourne/ Brisbane Lions Members Pre-Sale Tickets on-sale – Wednesday May 12, 2021
  • Public On-Sale Tickets – Friday May 14, 2021 

Tickets for general public and club members will be available online via https://premier.ticketek.com.au/