To coincide with the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round, Growthbuilt SUANFC will be marking the occasion with a range of activities and for the first time, we will be wearing a specially designed Indigenous guernsey in both the NEAFL and Sydney AFL Premier Division.
Taking place over the first weekend in June, we will kick off the event by wearing our Indigenous strip on the hallowed turf of the SCG as we take on the Swans, and will be following up on the Saturday by performing an acknowledgement of country and traditional smoking ceremony prior to the Grand Final rematch against Pennant Hills.
And while we are excited to be celebrating the contribution Indigenous players past and present have made both to the game of football and to SUANFC, we are also very pleased to be involved with two community partners for the event in Fair Game and AIME.
Fair Game are a not for profit organisation that focuses on developing active and healthy Indigenous communities through the distribution of recycled sports equipment. To support them, we will be running an equipment drive for which we encourage all players, supporters and friends of the club to bring in any unwanted equipment they may have such as balls, bats, racquets and boots for collection both in the weeks leading up to the event and on the day.
AIME, a long time friend of SUANFC, is an organisation that provides Indigenous students with invaluable mentoring and tutoring in order to help bridge the gap between high school and university. They have helped over 15,000 students since their inception and their work in providing opportunities for Indigenous students is unsurpassed. We will be raising money for them through the sale of a very limited edition SUANFC Indigenous t-shirt that can be purchased through the club shop and on the day (pending availability) and via donations on the day.
The SUANFC Indigenous Guernsey
The SUANFC Indigenous guernsey has been designed to celebrate Indigenous peoples and culture, highlighting the theme of “Connecting Through Community.” The artwork was provided by third year player and Sydney University student Yarlalu Thomas, a Nyangumarta man from the Great Sandy Desert in north west WA.
A number of symbols are used on the jumper to highlight this theme:
This aspect of the design represents the hot summer deserts and the cool running rivers that divide Australia into its different areas.
The blue circles (with yellow dots) found across the yellow bands represnt different campsites (central yellow dot) occupied by people (smaller yellow dots) in different regions seperated by the desert and rivers. In modern times, we think of these campsites as the cities, towns and communities all across Australia. As you can see the campsites are joined by a blue band to show how that they are connected.
The SUANFC crest was placed in the middle of the jumper to signify how one AFL club can connect different people from many different places and regions across Australia.
About the Artist
My name is Yarlalu Thomas and I am a Nyangumarta man from the Great Sandy Desert in north west WA. My country is called Mijijimaya, which is 250 km east of Port Hedland. I come from a small Indigenous community called Warralong, located south east of Port Hedland. I left my community to commence high school in Perth, graduating in 2015. Since then, I have moved to Sydney where I am in my final year of my undergraduate studies. I am currently completing a double degree in a Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine.
I first signed up with SUANFC in 2016. I played two years for the Colts U19’s team. Earlier this year, I transitioned into the senior open grade division. I asked the Club about the possibility of celebrating the Indigenous round this year. My ideas were received with open arms by the Club. I wish to thank SUANFC for helping me organise and making the round possible. I look forward to celebrating it and sharing my culture with the Club, players and the NEAFL.