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The story of Hawthorn's Indigenous guernsey

Bradley Hill, Shaun Burgoyne and Cyril Rioli in the 2015 Hawthorn Indigenous guernsey.

Hawthorn’s first ever Indigenous guernsey will be showcased for the second time on Sunday 30 May as part of the celebration for the AFL’s Indigenous Round.

The guernsey, designed by Yorta Yorta/Wiradjuri painter Jirra Lulla Harvey last year, tells the story of the ancient lands that are now the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn and incorporates visual elements that represent the places in which each of the Club’s Indigenous players originate.

To be worn against Gold Coast SUNS at Aurora Stadium, Launceston, the guernsey will feature the names of each Indigenous player that has represented Hawthorn, dating back to the Club’s first Indigenous player, Cyril Collard, who made his debut in 1957.

Lulla, who designed the guernsey in consultation with Hawthorn players and apparel partner adidas said she wanted the guernsey to allow football fans the opportunity to learn more about the coming together of cultures.

“We have over 500 aboriginal nations in Australia and each have their own culture and language."

The back of Hawthorn's Indigenous guernsey.

Cyril Rioli was one of the players to put forward his ideas for the design of the guernsey and said it’s something in which he will always be proud.

“It means a lot to me for the club to design a jumper – there have been a lot of Indigenous players roll through the Club,” he said.

 “I like the jumper and the way it’s designed – it has the Hawthorn story of the way it was back in the day.”

Shaun Burgoyne, one of the AFL’s Indigenous ambassadors also said how much it meant to him to be involved in the process.

“It means a lot to me and the other indigenous players,” Burgoyne said.

“It’s special because all the boys had a say in the design, what we wanted to see in the guernsey and how we wanted it to take shape.

“The round in itself pays respect to Indigenous players and the contribution they’ve made to the game in the past and present.

“To see my teammates put on the guernsey again will be something special.”

Hawthorn’s 2015 Indigenous guernsey is available to purchase at HawksNest online or in-store today.

What the design elements represent

'We play with pride on Wurundjeri Land'
The Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation are the traditional custodians of the area now known as Hawthorn. The Wurundjeri people speak the Woi Wurrung language.

The river down the front of the guernsey
In the Woi Wurrung language the Yarra River is called the Birrarung, meaning River of Mist. For time immemorial the Birrarung has been an abundant life-source for Wurundjeri people. In this artwork the Birrarung carries the names of all the Indigenous players who have worn the Hawthorn guernsey and played with pride.

Silver cross-hatching
The Birrarung was once bordered by towering gum tress and thick wattle shrub. The area now known as Hawthorn, which was once a lush landscape with a jungle like canopy, is situated in the City of Boroondara. In the Woi Wurrung language Boroondara means Shady Place. The cross-hatching patterns represent the dappled light that would make its way through this thick bush canopy.

Red paths and meeting grounds
The red paths and circle designs represent the many meeting places along the Birrarung, places that continue to hold great cultural and spiritual significance to the traditional custodians of the Hawthorn area.


 






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