At National Storage, we are given unique insight into the cultures of Australia’s First Nations peoples, showcased during indigenous rounds in sport. Indigenous rounds take place across the majority of sporting codes in Australia, with one or two rounds in each season dedicated to the recognition and celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
During NAIDOC Week 2022, we want to shine a spotlight on our sponsorship partners and their respective team kits designed for indigenous rounds.
What is NAIDOC Week?
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. The original version of this committee was formed amidst protests surrounding the negative status and treatment of First Nations peoples in the early 1900s.
Nowadays, the committee is more positive in its outlook. They make the key decisions around NAIDOC Week’s activities, including: focus city, theme, National NAIDOC Poster Competition winner, and National NAIDOC Awards winners.
NAIDOC Week is held in the first week of July each year. The history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are recognised and celebrated during this time. This week presents an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations peoples, and to continue our appreciation of these cultures in our everyday lives.
How is National Storage celebrating NAIDOC Week 2022?
National Storage is shining a spotlight on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures represented across our sponsorship teams’ sporting seasons.
Reflecting on our sponsorships in QLD, NSW, VIC, and WA, National Storage is proud to be involved with organisations that make a strong commitment to celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributions to their sporting teams and local communities.
Let’s start with the Perth Wildcats!
During the NBL’s Indigenous Round, the Perth Wildcats donned a jersey designed by local artist and basketball enthusiast, Kevin Bynder, of the Wadjuk Noongar people. His design for the jersey “honours Wadjuk people and the club’s players and staff from the last four decades and celebrates its greatest successes in its 10 NBL championships and five NBL MVP awards.”
Read more about the jersey design HERE.
In addition to the artwork featured on the jersey, the Perth Wildcats also hosted an Indigenous Round ceremony at RAC Arena. This featured a traditional smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, lead by Noongar Statesperson Dr Richard Walley OAM (pictured below).
The QLD-based Brisbane Broncos celebrated Indigenous Round, alongside their fellow teams in the NRL competition. Two Broncos players, Kotoni Staggs and Albert Kelly, joined forces to help create their team jersey in celebration of First Nations cultures during Indigenous Round. The jersey was designed by artist Casey Coolwell-Fisher of the Quandamooka (Nunukul) people.
Staggs said, “A really important part of indigenous round is educating indigenous and non-indigenous players and people, even myself. I’m still learning about my culture.”
With a goanna totem featured on the jersey to represent the Wiradjuri side of his family, Staggs was proud to bring his family with him onto the field. A similar sense of pride was shared between all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players on the Broncos team, as they, too, were represented in the Indigenous Round jersey design.
Learn more about the jersey design HERE.
Richmond Football Club
The Sir Doug Nicholls Round in the AFL competition is widely anticipated each year, and 2022 was no exception. The Richmond Football Club went up against Essendon for the showpiece game of the round – Dreamtime at the ‘G. Along with the indigenous guernsey, Dreamtime at the ‘G featured a spectacular show of First Nations ceremonies, and was viewed by over 800,000 people watching on TV.
Richmond player Marlion Pickett, together with his partner Jessica Nannup, fulfilled the task of designing the guernsey for 2022, with references to the Noongar Boodjar and Wurundjeri peoples incorporated. Representing Pickett’s family journey, the guernsey design also paid tribute to each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander player at the club.
Read more about the guernsey design HERE.
The Richmond AFLW team also donned a unique design on their guernsey for the competition’s Indigenous Round. Mildura artist Chantelle Mitchell showcased her Barkindji heritage within the guernsey design, created in collaboration with two of the teams players, Monique Conti and Sarah D’Arcy. Read the full guernsey design story HERE.
First Nations Round in the Big Bash League saw the Brisbane Heat players from both the men’s and women’s squads sporting a unique design on their jerseys. A collaboration between Heat WBBL player Mikayla Hinkley and Brisbane-based indigenous artist Delores McDonald saw the jersey design come to life, featuring connections to the Kunja people – where Hinkley’s family hail from.
Hinkley said, “Rather than just being an art piece, I think it’s a real statement and conversation starter which gives Indigenous youth something to aspire to; and really illustrates where we want to take this sport in the Indigenous space.”
Read more about the jersey design HERE.
Red Bull Ampol Racing
For the inaugural Supercars First Nations event, an indigenous-designed car livery was unveiled for Red Bull Ampol Racing’s appearance at the Darwin Triple Crown. Featured across both team drivers’ cars and their race suits, the design was created by students of the Hunter River Clontarf Academy.
Red Bull Ampol Racing’s co-naming rights partner, Ampol, have supported the Clontarf Foundation, and subsequently the Hunter River Clontarf Academy, for 11 years. Brent Merrick, Ampol Executive General Manager, International and New Business said, “The striking artwork we see on the car today has strong alignment to Ampol and our reconciliation journey – representing a deep connection to community, the value of building relationships and how we’re leveraging our strengths to transform our business for a successful future.”
Learn more about the car design HERE.
The Sydney Swans’ Marn Grook guernsey, worn in the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round, was designed by Lua Pellegrini, a NSW artist from the Wiradjuri people. The design is titled Duguwaybul Yindyamangidyal, which translates to: “Altogether respectfully: respect, gentleness, politeness, honour, careful, altogether as one.”
Coincidentally, Pellegrini was writing an essay on indigenous rounds in sport, and the value of these rounds in celebrating indigenous cultures, when she was contacted by the Sydney Swans to design the guernsey. The design represents the 19 Sydney Swans players in the club’s history from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
You can read more about the design HERE.
We are thrilled to be able to share these stories from our sponsorship teams with you. In acknowledgement of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures represented through sport, we aim to contribute to this year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations.
National Storage is proud to recognise and celebrate the First Nations peoples here in Australia.