The AFL Dreamtime game is a significant event in the AFL season, representing a major celebration of Indigenous Australian culture within the sport.

Held since 2005 during the league's Sir Doug Nicholls Round, Richmond and Essendon do battle on the MCG, with the game deeply rooted in recognising and celebrating the profound impact of Indigenous players.

Filled with pre-game ceremonies of traditional dances, music and storytelling, the football fans are treated to a cultural showcase whilst the unique and specially-designed guernseys add another dimension to the event.

The Tigers and Bombers will face off for claims over the Kevin Sheedy Cup, while the best on the field, determined by a panellist of judges, will be rewarded with the Yiooken Award.

Sheedy is a legend of the game whose on-field achievements (251 Richmond playing games, 678 coaching games - 634 Essendon, 44 GWS) don't quite marry up to his influence off it.

Sheedy was a three-time premiership player for the Tigers and a four-time premiership coach for Essendon.

The inaugural Giants coach was a proponent of the extended interchange bench, leading the charge to increase the number from two to four to meet the game's demands.

Sheedy also came up with the ANZAC Day clash between Collingwood and the Bombers while he's been a great promoter and supporter of Indigenous players, developing initiatives to take the game to widespread communities and to foster and develop promising players.

The Australian Sports Hall of Famer also helped create the Dreamtime at the 'G event, which recognises each club's efforts in supporting Indigenous culture and players.

Richmond holds a five-win lead (12-7) over the Bombers and was recently in the midst of an eight-win streak that was brought to a halt due to the heroics of Sam Durham in 2023.

The match is associated with the pre-game commemoration known as The Long Walk, a charity inspired by Essendon player Michael Long.

Past Yiooken Award winners

2023 - Zach Merrett (Essendon)
2022 - Dion Prestia (Richmond)
2021 - Darcy Parish (Essendon)
2020 - Shai Bolton (Richmond)
2019 - Bachar Houli (Richmond)
2018 - Shane Edwards (Richmond)
2017 - Dustin Martin (Richmond)
2016 - Dustin Martin (Richmond)
2015 - Brandon Ellis (Richmond)
2014 - Brendon Goddard (Essendon)
2013 - Jobe Watson (Essendon)
2012 - Brett Deledio (Richmond)
2011 - Trent Cotchin (Richmond)
2010 - David Hille (Essendon)
2009 - Jason Winderlich (Essendon)
2008 - Nathan Foley (Richmond)
2007 - James Hird (Essendon)
2006 - Dean Polo (Richmond)
2005 - Not awarded