The shirt, designed by 17-year-old Ky-ya Nicholson-Ward, was a huge hit when it was debuted in the Renegades’ inaugural Indigenous Match against the Hobart Hurricanes last Tuesday.
Nicholson-Ward is a member of the Wurundjeri mob, and her work was a proud centrepiece of the match, winning rave reviews from supporters online.
The story of our Indigenous playing shirt
Front of the playing shirt
- The circle in the centre represents the act of gathering together
- The 12 smaller circles outside the gathering represent the players
- The lines at the shoulder and hips (back and front of shirt) represent standing side by side for the journey the players will have together
Back of the playing shirt
- The shield on the back centre is a men’s symbol of strength and protection, purposely placed on spine to show stature
- The pattern in the shield is from Ky-ya’s fourth great uncle William Barak, who was the tribe’s last traditional leader and one of the first civil rights activist, Wurundjeri Tribe
- Six boomerangs represent speed, agility, skill and accuracy and the six layers of Country. The six Layers of Country are Below (for gathering pigments for decoration), On (where we dance and celebrate), Water (where we welcome), Wind (where the wind blows our language and the smoke of our ceremony), Sky (Where the physical version of the sprits watch from (Waa – The Raven and Bunjil – Wedge-tailed Eagle) and Star (Where Bunjil, the creator, lives)
- Wavy lines behind the boomerangs represent the song lines of the tribe
- Our art does not use dots. Our tribes use waves and carvings, the use of symmetrical lines and diamonds are very prevalent in South Central Victorian Indigenous art
The Renegades’ Indigenous playing shirt will again be on display against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG on Saturday afternoon.