Queanbeyan Kangaroos club president Ian Baker made it his mission to rebuild the club's culture throughout the 2021 season, and this weekend's Indigenous round will be the final piece to complete the puzzle.
One of many clubs to withdraw from last year's competition due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kangaroos entered the Canberra Raiders Cup as a genuine premiership contender in 2021.
Now they sit third on the ladder and in fierce contention for their first title since 2013.
The club's Indigenous round marks a chance to make a statement to their cross-town rival the Queanbeyan Blues at Freebody Oval on Saturday.
Family and heart are the themes at the heart of the club's culture rebuild this season. Now every player will unite in wearing their custom Yarrudhamarra Creations Indigenous jerseys on Saturday.
Kangaroos player Reeion Murray is a proud Indigenous man who knows this means more to the club than ever before, and says the match up against the Blues makes them even more eager for the win.
"This year the whole club has gathered together to get a new culture for ourselves, we're now a more family orientated club which everyone is loving," Murray said.
"It's going to be so important to come out and represent the artwork on the jerseys and the artist who created it, but it's also important to represent the club so it's going to mean the world for us."
The Blues sit second on the ladder and the Kangaroos at third, with the former claiming a two-point win in their last clash, and there will be no love lost in another derby.
But Kangaroos centre Gideon Afemui is confident his team can bring home the win if they focus on themselves.
The fact they gave premiership favourites the Gungahlin Bulls their first loss of the season with a 60-14 toppling leaves Afemui with no doubt they can conquer the Blues.
"We just need to do our own thing, everyone's focused on how good they are, but I think we just need to focus on us first and we'll come out on top," Afemui said.
The Kangaroos will mark the occasion with a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony, and a traditional performance by Mulleun Performance group prior to kick off.
The Indigenous round marks the third and final round of celebration for the club this year, after a successful ladies day event in round four, and a retro-themed round nine.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: