SAFA was the premier ADF sporting organisation between 1981 and 1994, rebadged after that time to its current title Australian Defence Force Australian Rules (ADFAR). During the SAFA period, there were several levels of football contested in every State and Territory, culminating in the annual Combined Services Interstate Carnival and immediately followed by the prestigious SAFA National Tour. The best footballers in the ADF were selected for this 2 week Tour which usually included 5 games versus civilian representative State teams in SA, Victoria, NSW and QLD. The SAFA team, widely known as the "Tricolours" were the first ADF team to wear the tricolour design.
There will be a much awaited SAFA Reunion on the Gold Coast over the weekend 18-19 July 2020. SAFA was the premier ADF sporting organisation during the 80s and early 90s which featured State Interservice, Combined Services carnivals, National Interservice carnivals (from 86) and extensive National Tours featuring the best ADF footballers. The annual SAFA Tours were both extensive and legendary with several games versus State and regional representative teams from South Australia, Victoria, NSW and QLD.
The first official reunion (picture above) was held at Young n Jacksons pub Melbourne in 2018. The Reunion is open to all ex Services players and officials who represented their Service, State or National "Tricolours" teams during the late 70s through early 90s period.
Planning is currently underway to hold the main function at the current QAFL premiers Palm Beach Currumbin (PBC) football club on the Gold Coast, Saturday 18 July, with a sit-down catered function (10 tables of 10). Guest ex AFL speakers are guaranteed to be entertaining !! The PBC club's oval, Salk, was used extensively by the SAFA v Gold Coast AllStars annual battle several times during the mid-late 80s.
Other weekend activities also include an AFL game at Metricon Stadium; the Richmond Tigers play the Gold Coast Suns that afternoon, and a golf recovery day is planned for the Sunday. Buses will be provided by Jardine Pacific Pty Ltd (the transport company run by the former GCAFL President, Reg McKay) for transport between the various venues, transport hubs and accommodation.
At the Reunion, inaugural SAFA Legends, including those several who have sadly passed away, will be announced; the Selection Committee comprising 2 from each Service:
RAAF Alan Purdie
Army Bill Whitburn
Navy Chris Luscombe
Criteria for consideration for players to be awarded SAFA Legend status has been determined as selection in at least 2 SAFA national teams (both pre and post 1981).
Contact organisers Geoff Olsen 0413277512) or Geoff Ibbs (0455679425) to register intention to attend. Dont wait too long to book.....this will be huge and certainly not before time. See everyone there for a fantastic weekend of memories and laughs, and not the least long-awaited recognition of the Services best footballers. Secure your flight and accommodation bookings early to save $$s.