Hawthorn great and First Nations trailblazer Chance Bateman has been revealed as the inspiration behind the Hawks’ 2024 AFL Indigenous Guernsey after it was unveiled ahead of Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Bateman is a fan favourite of many Hawks supporters, having become the first Indigenous man to surpass 100 games for the club, play in a premiership and receive Hawthorn life membership. 

The proud Ballardong and Noongar man connected with Whadjuk, Ballardong and Eastern Arrernte artist Jade Dolman to help tell his story about his journey of representing the Hawthorn Football Club across 13 esteemed years and 177 influential games. 

Dolman, whose artist name is J.D. Penangke (pronounced pen-ung-gah), is passionate about sharing her culture through art and also has a close connection to Bateman. 

The garment contains a range of intricate and sentimental elements that centre around a Hawk in the centre of the guernsey. The Hawk represents the common ground that is the Hawthorn Football Club. 

Surrounding the Hawk are maps of Australian states in the form of various-sized rings, which signify where players have come from to represent the club. The more players from the state, the larger the rings. 

Circles are depicted across the front and back of the guernsey to pay homage to the members and supporters of the brown and gold, who form the lifeblood of the club. The circles also tell a story about us all being forever connected to the club, as players, members and supporters.

The back of the guernsey contains a map of the Ballardong region, where both Bateman and Dolman come from. Within that map is a small ring that pays special tribute to Bateman’s hometown of York.

Below that map are 13 rings, which signify the amount of years Bateman represented the Hawks. The band surrounding those rings depicts the six Noongar seasons: Birak (December-January, Season of the Young), Bunuru (February-March, Season of the Adolescence), Djeran (April-May, Season of Adulthood), Makuru (June-July, Season of Fertility), Djilba (August-September, Season of Conception), Kambarang (October-November, Season of Birth). 

The design overall not only tells the story of Bateman’s journey in representing the Hawks but also pays homage to those who have come before him and made a mark on the club.

“It’s such a special honour to have the guernsey represent my journey to the Hawks and my time there,” Bateman said.

“That time of my life is something I’ll always look back on as being really special for me. 

“To have my story in a First Nations art form is something I’ll forever be proud of.”

To hear from Bateman himself and gain further insight into his story and the guernsey design, click here.