St George Illawarra have today unveiled their 2018 indigenous jersey ahead of the Dragons' Round 10 Indigenous Round clash against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Sunday, May 13.
The Dragons indigenous jersey will for the first time include a combination of designs from three local artists: Lani Balzan, Keiran Campbell and Koori Minto. Their designs were selected by a player panel which included indigenous players Josh Kerr, Tristan Sailor, Jai Field and Joel Thompson (prior to his departure) as well as Jack de Belin, Euan Aitken and Cameron McInnes.
The front of the jersey – designed by Balzan – includes a whale (Birri Birri) which symbolises the Dharawal nation, the land on which St George Illawarra play their home games.
The different gathering symbols surrounding the whale represents the bringing together of a harmonious community, including Dragons members, fans and players.
The three white dots above the Red V signify the three indigenous players currently in the Dragons' NRL squad (Kerr, Field and Sailor).
Young artists Campbell and Minto's design are included on the back of the jersey.
Their design highlights the special relationship and respect local aboriginals have with the sea, especially considering sea creatures have provided indigenous people a food source for generations.
"It was pretty special to help pick the design of the Dragons' indigenous jersey. It's great to be able to express my culture in such a way like this, in front of so many people," Dragons indigenous player representative Kerr said.
"I say that because obviously the jersey will be there for all to see. It's an opportunity I never thought possible for myself.
"To be given the opportunity to express that side of our aboriginal culture has been a great experience for me so far.
"Indigenous Round is a great round. My family and I especially, absolutely love it. It's something we look forward to every year," he added.
The 2018 indigenous jersey will be available to purchase in-store or online from the Dragons team store during the week leading into the Round 10 Rabbitohs clash.
Inspiration for front of jersey (by Lani Balzan)
Inspiration for back of jersey (by Kieran Campbell and Koori Minto)