The AFL today marked the 112th anniversary of Sir Doug Nicholls’ birth by extending its commitment to the Sir Doug Nicholls Round until the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

Members of Pastor Sir Doug Nicholls’ family joined AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan to sign the Agreement, which honours the first Aboriginal player to represent Victoria at state level and a man who reflected both the values of the game and epitomised the spirit of reconciliation.

Sir Doug Nicholls was born on Cummeragunja mission in New South Wales in 1906, he played football for Fitzroy before becoming a Pastor and pioneer for reconciliation in Australia. He went on to become the first Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person to be knighted and hold the position of Governor of South Australia.

The AFL’s Indigenous Round was first named in honour of Sir Doug Nicholls for the 2016 season, the first time the AFL has named a round in honour of an individual.

Mr. McLachlan said Sir Doug Nicholls was an elite footballer, athlete and boxer but equally as inspirational were his efforts away from the sporting field as a community leader.

“Sir Doug Nicholls was a pioneer when it came to reconciliation. Along with this, it was his passion for and commitment to Australian football which helped bring together the many other significant achievements in his life.

“He remains the only VFL/AFL player both to have been knighted and to have served as a state governor,” Mr. McLachlan said.

Nicholls Foundation Chairperson Gary Murray said the Foundation welcomed the historic signing of the Agreement.

“The Agreement not only recognises the achievements of one of the most significant Indigenous leaders in history, it comes on Pastor Sir Doug's 112th birthday. The Agreement strengthens a growing Indigenous partnership with the AFL and adds to existing diversity and multicultural programs,” Mr. Murray said.

“Pastor Doug would be more than proud of these developments to further enhance his work. The Nicholls Foundation has been established to honour his name and that of his wife Lady Gladys Nicholls (1906-1981).”

Each year as part of Sir Doug Nicholls Round the AFL will continue to honour an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who has made a significant contribution to both football and the community. The 2018 Sir Doug Nicholls Round was in honour of AFL Legend Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer.

Google has also today recognised the 112th anniversary via a dedicated tribute on the Google homepage.