ONE OF the many highlights of the Sir Doug Nicholls Round is the stunning, specially designed jumpers.
In 2021 we have some new designs that tell a fascinating story, mixed with some favourites, such as Sydney's black swan, that is now becoming iconic.
The jumpers are an incredible tapestry of art, spirit, colour and meaning. Do you have a favourite? Vote below.
Designed by forward Ben Davis, the guernsey features a dhoeri, a traditional head dress which is a significant part of Torres Strait Islander culture, and represents Davis’ personal story of cultural discovery. It also includes other Torres Strait Islander elements, including the Hammerhead shark, fish and spears, while the back displays a large turtle, which is the totem for the Torres Strait Island people. The guernsey honours the country on which Adelaide plays and trains, with a Kaurna shield prominently displayed and connected to the dhoeri.
Designed by triple premiership hero Chris Johnson, who is a proud Gunditjmara man from South West Victoria. He was the last of the Fitzroy Lions and the first of the Brisbane Lions. While the opportunity to weave the parts of his own incredible story into a guernsey was “a huge honour”, the responsibility of capturing the histories of the two clubs he loved and the many players who represented them weighed heavily. Fitzroy’s history is celebrated by the semi-circle shapes arched beneath the club logo, each a tribute to the 13 Indigenous players to have represented the club. Below them are six bold red circles that symbolize the grounds the club has called home throughout its 138-year-history. Johnson explains the three yellow symbols spaced around the Fitzroy logo represent the Brisbane Lions premierships and the seven red circles, each with four figures surrounding them pays tribute to the 28 teammates who played in the grand final triumphs.
Created in consultation with Carlton's seven current Indigenous players - Eddie Betts, Liam Jones, Jack Martin, Zac Williams, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Madison Prespakis and Natalie Plane - the guernsey depicts each of their mob names, celebrating and paying tribute by highlighting the diverse Aboriginal cultures among them and honouring their cultural identities, families and the Country to which they belong. The campfires that feature on the shoulders of the jumper are a tribute to the entire Carlton family, signifying the broader playing group, staff, members and supporters all uniting together and proud to be part of the Navy Blue.
A jumper made for All of Us.— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) May 25, 2021
We're proud to share our 2021 AFL Indigenous guernsey designed by the talented Laura Thompson of @clothingthegaps. ??
Collingwood’s 2021 Sir Doug Nicholls Round guernsey features two soaring Magpies in a design created by proud Yorta Yorta and Gunnai man, Dixon Patten. The design shows both magpies flying onwards and upwards, with outstretched wings, reaching new heights and possibilities. Magpies are nurturers who guide their young, playing a role similar to that of teachers, elders or respected persons. This guiding role is important to Aboriginal communities and families. We learn, listen and adhere to the teachings of our old people. Cultural practices teach values, and are learnt through connecting to stories, song, land, people and community and it guides everything that the community does.
"When the findings came out of the Do Better report I almost reneged on the job, I almost ran away from it, but there’s a quote by Gandhi, ‘we have to be the change we want to see in the world’."— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) May 24, 2021
The story behind our Indigenous guernsey, by Dixon Patten. pic.twitter.com/8UP9yYGYAG
Designed by proud Yorta Yorta and Gunnai man Dixon Patten, who has Gunditjmara bloodlines, the artwork tells the story of Norm McDonald; the first Aboriginal player for Essendon who was a Gunditjmara man from the western district of Victoria. The patterns in the background pay homage to Gunditjmara country, representing the eel traps and lake systems that allowed Gunditjmara to have abundance and prosper for millennia. One of the totems of the many clans is the red-tailed black cockatoo. The feathers represent people from all races, genders, religions and backgrounds, coming together for the love of the game and our diverse contributions to our community. The hands represent the ancestors guiding us on our journey.
Our 2021 Dreamtime guernsey unveiled ??— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) May 10, 2021
A collaboration between past player Des Headland, AFLW player Mikayla Morrison and Indigenous artist Kevin Bynder, the 2021 jumper combines the heritage of Headland and Morrison, highlights some proud aspects of Fremantle Football Club history and acknowledges the tragic loss of at least 373 Aboriginal men at a Rottnest Island prison camp between 1838 and 1931. The design process was also done in conjunction with Fremantle’s ‘Stretch’ RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan), which was developed in assistance with the Club’s Indigenous program partner, Woodside.
Designed by Corrina Eccles, a traditional owner of Wadawurrung Country, the guernsey represents a local story and incorporates a number of meaningful landmarks across the Barwon region. “I wanted to tell the story of Wadawurrung country, the story of Djilang, and take people back on a journey to what the country was like prior to how we see the built environment today,” Eccles said. "In the design I have the Kardiniyoo, the sunrise taking place and the two teams coming together to play what we call Marngrook. The Barwon River is a place that our eels would travel down. The eels then meet on our coast, our saltwater country. Then we have our mountain country, our big hills and Bunjil. Bunjil watches over this country he created, he will often fly over the stadium, watching over country and the river.”
This year the club has facilitated a collaborative design featuring the artwork by Yugambeh artist Luther Cora and Larrakia artist Trent Lee. The art represents both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and a clear relationship to country and the connection between Larrakia and Yugambeh.
Leading into Sir Doug Nicholls Round our Indigenous boys spoke on what the round means to them. pic.twitter.com/bBOqKbU8kX— Gold Coast Suns (@GoldCoastSUNS) May 24, 2021
GWS forward, and Whadjuk-Ballardong Noongar man, Bobby Hill designed the Giants' jumper, which they wore in 2020. The design, titled Bobby's GIANT Journey, tells the story of Hill from his upbringing in Northam, WA, to moving to Sydney in 2018 to representing the Giants. Boomerangs and campfire represent hunting (a big part of Hill's upbringing), and the circle below the boomerangs represents family. The footprints in the middle of the back of the jumper represent Bobby's journey.
On a beautiful afternoon at GIANTS HQ, Bobby Hill shared the special meaning behind his Indigenous jumper design as Jeremy Finlayson revealed an incredible family connection to Sir Doug Nicholls. ?? pic.twitter.com/KJYv4VTaPf— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) May 25, 2021
Hawthorn's is using the same jumper in 2020, designed by proud Nyarinyin, Pitjantjantjara and Yankuntjantjara woman Justine Ronberg. A former Worawa Aboriginal College Student, Ronberg entered a school competition in early 2019, with hopes of creating a piece of artwork that would be forever be etched in Hawthorn history. From footprints signifying the journey players embark on to achieve their AFL dreams, to a layer embodying the wider brown and gold family, supporters and members, the intricate design is stacked full of unique symbolism.
Last year we launched our incredible Indigenous guernsey. ??????— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) May 24, 2021
Here's a reminder of the inspiring story behind the design. pic.twitter.com/j67S8oXeLH
Designed by Arrernte artist Amunda Gorey, the Demons’ guernsey brings together all who are part of the red and blue – from players and coaches to members and supporters. It tells a story of deep connection, and one that the Dees will proudly showcase during the 2021 Sir Doug Nicholls Round. With community at the core, the guernsey also recognises the impact every person has on the club and its surrounds. Lines leading into the centre represent the journey that each is on, while the semi circles symbolise safety, shelter and support. This extends further across the guernsey, with a reference to the greater support networks that may go unnoticed. Community clubs that share the Demons name are also recognised through various circles within the design.
Our Mob represents the proud Indigenous men and women of the North Melbourne Football Club, who are currently walking the footsteps paved by previous legends of the game. Designed by local Yamatji Martu (Western Australia) woman, Emma Macneill, the jumper was inspired by North’s Indigenous players – Jy Simpkin, Jed Anderson, Tarryn Thomas, Kyron Hayden, and endorsed by Phoenix Spicer and Matt McGuinness.
We're proud to unveil our 2021 Sir Doug Nicholls Round jumper.— North Melbourne (@NMFCOfficial) May 18, 2021
Our Mob represents the proud Indigenous men and women of the North Melbourne Football Club, who are currently walking the footsteps paved by previous legends of the game.
?? https://t.co/9Ay5Pj3SqQ pic.twitter.com/IAQVbDe84q
Port Adelaide's Indigenous jumper design was originally designed by Aboriginal artist Elle Campbell, the club has confirmed. The club investigated claims made by Ms Campbell on social media relating to the artwork on the Power's guernsey for Sir Doug Nicholls Round, and determined the artwork had originally been created for a 2019 exhibition at Flinders Medical Centre in South Australia. Port unveiled their Indigenous jumper this week after a competition asking high school students to design the guernsey. The winning entrant came from a 17-year-old (AFL.com.au has chosen not to name the woman), who said her design was inspired by designs she saw on social media. Ms Campbell said she had been in contact with the student, and that there was no ill feeling.
Designed by the Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute Program Lead, Michelle Kerrin (Arrernte/Luritja) in conjunction with Shane Edwards (Arrernte) and Jack Riewoldt, the jumper tells the players’ story since arriving at Richmond together in November 2006. The famous yellow sash has been transformed into a gum leaf, symbolising a pre-game ritual Riewoldt picked up in his early Dreamtime games where he would place the leaf handed to him by Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Joy Murphy into his sock. The leaf sash is split into two sides, with the white side representing Jack’s story throughout his time at the Club and his learnings of Indigenous communities. The orange/brown side represents Shane’s journey, not only within the Club but within his own identity. It starts with the rain of a heavy head and clears with the sun coming out, depicting the clarity of learning more about his indigeneity.
Designed by club legend Nicky Winmar, the jumper is inspired by Nicky’s family, his history and his love of his beloved Saints. Two Willy Wagtails, Nicky’s family totem, feature on the front of the jumper to represent both of his parents, alongside a silhouette of his iconic “I’m Black and I’m Proud” pose from that defining day at Victoria Park in 1993. The stencils seen on the back of the guernsey are inspired by traditionally Indigenous splatter techniques and feature Nicky’s very own hands. They represent teamwork and demonstrate his eternal connection to the club and its current group of players – he will always have their back.
We're proud to honour Nicky's legacy ??— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) May 17, 2021
The striking design, inspired by the work of artist Cheryl Davidson, tells the story of the Black Swan, Guunyu. Davidson's work is based on stories from the elders in her community and has been exhibited nationally and internationally. The guernsey also represents Sydney's waterways, landscape and our heritage. Marn Grook at the SCG is always one of the highlights on the Sydney Swans calendar and the club cannot wait to celebrate the contribution of indigenous people to our game.
Created by artist Darryl Bellotti, the "Guernsey depicts the Waugul (Rainbow Serpent) as it travels the land and watches over the West Coast Eagles journey to the Grand Final at the MCG. To Nyoongar people, the Waugul is widely regarded and is known as the Creator Spirit and in the Dreaming, what Nyoongar call the Nyitting, only Spirit beings inhabited the land. It was the Spirits that gave the world form and meaning. One of these Spirits was the Waugul. It is said that the Waugul journeyed from the east, creating valleys and hills with its body as it travelled."
Delve into the story of our 2021 Indigenous jumper, designed by Darryl Bellotti.https://t.co/kPgCbvSdsd— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) May 25, 2021
Reflections of family history for former Western Bulldogs player Lindsay Gilbee, and the Boandik people of Mt Gambier, feature on the design of the club’s 2021 AFL Indigenous guernsey. Gilbee worked closely with renowned Aboriginal artist Nathan Patterson to assist in translating aspects of his story to produce the striking artwork.
.@LindsayGilbee’s journey of discovery.— Western Bulldogs (@westernbulldogs) May 13, 2021
Our 2021 Sir Doug Nicholls Round guernsey revealed.