1991 Arafura Sports Festival

The Arafura Sports Festival was first held in Darwin in 1991. It is a celebration of sport and includes 1,400 athletes from surrounding countries such as PNG, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Brunei, Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawack as well as teams from the Northern Territory and North Queensland. The initial games included a demonstration of  Australian Football. The game was played on 22nd May and was between the NT Teal Cup Team and a team of NT senior Footballers from the NTFL, Bathurst Island and Barrunga Community. It included such champions as Maurice Rioli and Noel Long. Australia Post issued a special commemorative cover and postmark (PM 1715) to celebrate the festival . The left side of the cover shows the logos of the sports played, including Australian Football. In more recent years, Australian Football games have been played between the International competing countries with PNG winning in 1995 and Singapore in 1997. 1999 saw teams split into two divisions with Division A containing Papua New Guinea , Hong Kong, Japan and the Northern Territory and Division B containing New Zealand, Singapore, Samoa, and Western Australia. The final saw Papua New Guinea defeating New Zealand by 37 points with Samoa winning the Bronze medal. The 2001 Games were held from the 19-26 May 2001. Nauru won the final from the Central Desert Eagles, with the NT superules team winning the bronze.