Hawthorn has unveiled its 2020 Indigenous guernsey, designed by proud Nyarinyin, Pitjantjantjara and Yankuntjantjara woman Justine Ronberg.
Ronberg, a former Worawa Aboriginal College Student, entered a school competition in early 2019, with hopes of creating a piece of artwork that would be forever be etched in Hawthorn history.
Her work was selected by Hawthorn Indigenous players Chad Wingard, Shaun Burgoyne, Jarman Impey and Mat Walker, who felt a strong connection to the stories represented in her design.
“We had the girls submit some really great designs,” Wingard said.
“But with Justine’s, we read the story and, alongside the actual design itself, we believe that it resonated with the playing group and where we’re at.
“[We also loved] how it described our story as Indigenous men and the support we have around us.
“Some of the greats that have played AFL are going to wear this design.
“It’s going to be pretty special running out in it.”
The design features symbols that represent the many different aspects of AFL.
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 stories and symbolism.
For Ronberg, a life-long Hawthorn (and in particular, Shaun Burgoyne) fan, seeing her brown and gold design come to life is a dream come true.
“I felt excited, I couldn’t really believe it,” Ronberg recalls the moment she found out.
“[My family] was really proud of me. My mum just kept saying ‘I can’t believe this’, especially because Hawthorn has always been my team.
“She’s an artist as well, and me following her footsteps through art was a big achievement.
“Hopefully after this, I can go further with my art.”
Hawthorn players will run out in the guernsey for the first time in Round 13 when the league celebrates Sir Doug Nicholls Round. The Hawks’ opponent and fixture details are expected to be revealed shortly.
The 2020 Indigenous guernsey is now available for purchase via HawksNest online. You can order yours here.
All of Hawthorn’s Indigenous programs are made possible by the generous support of the Epic Good Foundation