June 23, 2021

We ranked every jersey design for NRL Indigenous Round

1 min read


Every year we see a couple of, let’s say, below average designs when it comes to NRL’s clubs and their attempts at Indigenous Round.

Not this year.

Bravo to all the artists and the clubs.

Just for fun, we ranked all 16 teams.


Canberra's Indigenous Round jersey. Artist Lynnice Church, an Aboriginal woman from the Ngunnawal, Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi Tribes who previously held a position on the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, is credited with the jersey design which carries artwork associated with the region’s Reconciliation Public Holiday, which occurred on Monday 1 June 2020.


North Queensland's Indigenous Round jersey. The ‘Chosen One’ jersey design is the winner of the Cowboys annual Indigenous Jersey Design Competition, designed by artist William Chambers.
In the Torres Strait and North Queensland Indigenous communities, the Sea Turtle is considered a delicacy. This painting represents the turtle’s journey from hatchling to fully grown adult. The smaller turtles are hatchlings on their journey from the shore to the open sea. The circles represent all obstacles and predators; not all become fully grown. The hunters with spears look for the chosen one which will become food. The fully grown turtle is also the chosen one as it gets its chance to reproduce and continue the cycle of life.


Gold Coast's Indigenous Round jersey. 
Connection with community, passion, support and togetherness are the key messages from the inspiring artwork “Healing” from Coffs Harbour artist Laura Pitt, that has been chosen as the design for the Gold Coast Titans 2020 Indigenous jersey. The blue circles in the middle with the symbols on the outside represent the Titans community, passion is represented through the coloured dots surrounding the players and supporters with links of the blue and ochre lines that merge together as one.
The handprints and blue and white waterholes surrounding the area represent connection to the land. The blue and yellow healing leaves represent the resilience of the team that play together and heal together.


Adam Elliott models Canterbury's Indigenous Round jersey, designed by local Indigenous students from Bethlehem College, Ashfield.
The design of this year’s Jersey features traditional artwork by the Students, symbolising the coming together of our community for Indigenous Round.
Indigenous and Non-Indigenous players, Members of our community and the designers themselves are represented as Suns on the Jersey arranged around a meeting place – in this instance, our match against the Eels.
Also included on the Jersey are totem animals of the local area and the Cooks River, which has long enabled many tribes to come together.

12: EELS

Parramatta Eels 2020 Indigenous Jersey Mens Sizes Small - 5XL NRL ISC


Brisbane Broncos 2020 Indigenous Jersey - Jerseys Megastore


Manly's Indigenous Round jersey. The large blue circular design feature positioned in the bottom right corner of the jersey represents the Manly district and Brookvale, with its tentacles and tributaries reaching far beyond, embracing fans across the country. 
At the centre of the circle is a map of the Manly/Warringah/Pittwater districts. There are also seventeen lines, one for each of the warriors selected to represent the 2020 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the NRL each week.
The carefully dotted lines also represent the journeys undertaken by Indigenous players, past and present, who have proudly represented the Manly club and their Peoples. At the end of each journey, the players communities and grass roots footy are depicted. It is, in essence, the starting point from where the Rugby League adventure begins for all First Nations players.


Sydney Roosters 2020 Indigenous Jersey Mens Small - 5XL, Womens & Kids NRL ISC


Penrith's Indigenous Round jersey, designed by Natasha Fordham. 
The front of the jersey features the meeting place of Panthers Stadium on Darug land, flanked by the Nepean River, local wildlife and the Blue Mountains 
The setting sun creates an eye-catching silhouette to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land the Panthers community calls home today 
Designed by Natasha Fordham in collaboration with Panthers Indigenous Welfare Officer Glen Liddiard and Panthers players Brent Naden, Daine Laurie and Brayden McGrady 
Totems recognising the club's Indigenous players in the NRL squad including Brent Naden (Wiradjuri - goanna), Brayden McGrady (Kamilaroi - snake) and Daine Laurie (Bundjalung / Yaegl - turtle) 
Fans will be able to bid for match-worn jerseys signed by the individual player directly after the game via shop.penrithpanthers.com.au 


The Newcastle jersey was designed by local Aboriginal artist Tyler Smith with feedback from Knights players Connor Watson, Edrick Lee and Gehamat Shibasaki. In creating a deeper bond to the region and its people, Smith enlisted the assistance of four young Indigenous detainees through his art program at Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre. The design of the jersey represents the local landscape of Newcastle, the wider region and also incorporates the handprints of the three players. Central to the design is the implementation of three totems representing the three players - Goanna (Watson), Turtle (Shibasaki) and Saltwater Crocodile (Lee).


David Nofoaluma in the Wests Tigers' 2020 Indigenous Round jersey, named ‘Guwing & Yunada’ (meaning Sun & Moon in Dharawal language). 
Location on jersey: Front & Back 
Created: 6th September 2019 
This artwork exhibits emu and kangaroo living amongst each other, while the sun and moon are on the verge of switching positions at dusk. 
Artwork name: ‘River Flow’ 
Location on jersey: Sleeves 
Created: 5th August 2019 
This artwork symbolises life. Much like a river flow we are moving forward in our lives, and with moving forward we are all directed onto certain pathways. The blue water represents people flowing down the river in a forward motion whilst the brown, red and white represent guides putting people into the right direction


Cronulla's Indigenous Round jersey, designed by Alara Geebung (Cameron).

Entitled “Coming Together”, the Sharks 2020 Indigenous Jersey has been designed with the intricate artwork a direct reconnection to the ways of “our old people”, it’s an illustration which also represents a oneness with mother nature and equanimity of mind.
The night sky spirit animals represent and pay tribute to the players totems and the oneness between spirt and sky to land and sea. Through dreamtime stories, the nation’s first peoples, and widely respected by the wider community, as a symbol of Australia, the Southern Cross features as a connection between both cultures.


South Sydney's Indigenous Round jersey. For the 2020 NRL Indigenous Round, the Rabbitohs will be wearing culture on their sleeves, representing the proud legacy of the indigenous players who have worn the Jersey before them. In collaboration with our Indigenous players and artist Uncle Joe Walker, the Jersey design connects all the different communities, players and their stories to the Black Rabbit. 


Melbourne's Indigenous Round jersey, designed by Ky-ya Nicholson Ward, a 17-year-old Wurundjeri, Dja Dja Wurrung, and Ngurai illum Wurrung woman.
The jersey is called ‘Jindi Worobak’ which means ‘Join and Unite’ in Woiwurrung which is the language of my people, the Wurundjeri people, the traditional custodians of Narrm (Melbourne). This is my way as an artist to acknowledge the players, the workers, volunteers and fans that all join and unite to create the amazing Melbourne Storm community and environment. The centre circle on the jersey represents AAMI Park, and the white circles represent the staff, fans and crowd who come united as one to support the players. It represents how when we all come together as one, we are stronger. The joint circles flowing through the middle section of the jersey represent the Birrarung (Yarra River) which is a very significant and spiritual river to my people. ‘Birrarung’ means ‘river of mists’ in Woiwurrung, this is because the mist dances along the river at dawn which is linked to my people’s dreamtime/creation stories.


The Warriors' Indigenous Round jersey, designed by Dave Burke. Tāua Tahi is the Māori way of saying “That’s Us” - Indigenous populations share many cultural similarities around how we relate to our environments particularly land, water people and language.
Tāua tahi the 2020 indigenous jersey acknowledges these similarities and shared  realities on field and off field. It represents the players coming together and below is the next generation who are inspired by the coming together of our indigenous people and the change that can be created by understanding and respecting each other. 


The Dragons' 2020 Indigenous Round jersey. The front of jersey design, entitled Dragons Community by Watson, showcases spiritual guides, the humpback and footprints of the kangaroo within the hunting boomerang and pays respect to the Dragons' playing group, their families, staff and supporters including the Dharawal-speaking people. 
The smaller community groups and pathways in grey represent the different backgrounds and journeys travelled by all players and supporters, showing that in the end they are all tied together by the strength of the Dragon’s jersey. 
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