Countries affiliated to the Commonwealth have been officially welcomed to the Gold Coast by the local indigenous community.

Luther Cora of the Yugambeh people says its part of the organizing committees plan to actively recognize the local indigenous people and culture is set to play a major role in the games friendly spirit.

“It’s a great moment for indigenous people all over Australia. It’s great for our family and other people from the Yugambeh. It’s a great opportunity for Australia to be in the spotlights to showcase the beauty and richness of our culture.”

Games organiser Mark Peters says this is a significant and special event as it aims to show how they are working together to reconcile the wrongs of the past and find a way forward.

“One of the first discussions we had with our local Yugambeh elders was to see how can we actually work together to make a difference. We’ve seen indigenous business development and jobs created. We’re seeing a future beyond the games.”

Aotearoa’s top kapa haka group has sent its members to perform Māori tradition and lead the New Zealand team’s cultural ceremonies.

Despite there being a friendly atmosphere among the countries it is clear that one the competition starts friends will turn to foes.