St Kilda Football Club is proud to announce its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and unveil the 2019 Sir Doug Nicholls Round guernsey.
The RAP will serve as an extension of the club’s commitment to belonging and inclusivity, aiming to contribute to Australia’s reconciliation journey through acknowledging, respecting and sharing the histories and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
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“While many sporting clubs understand the virtues of diversity and promoting inclusion, they are themes that can be found deep within the St Kilda Football Club’s DNA,” Saints CEO Matt Finnis said.
“They have, and always will be, central to our spirit, which remains proudly creative, progressive and human-centred.
The contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to Australian Rules is undeniable, with some of the best to ever play the game proudly doing so in a St Kilda guernsey."
“Our vision is for all Australians to be inquisitive, to seek greater understanding of the traditional custodians of our lands and to reduce the gaps that currently exist between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians in health, life expectancy, education and employment.”
The launch of the RAP coincides with the release of the club’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round guernsey for the 2019 season.
The guernsey, which was designed by Emily Long (sister of Ben Long) and club graphic designer Megan Mitchell, represents the history of the Long family and the totems of their people.
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The front of the guernsey represents the Long family’s paternal grandfather’s ancestors, the Anmatyere people, who come from Ti Tree, Northern Territory.
The three eggs and footprints symbolise the emu, totem of the Anmatyere people. The two watering holes represent the land that the emus frequent, connected by Twenty Mile Creek.
The shark represents the protector of the Tiwi Islands, where Jack Long was adopted by the Kerinaiua family, where they were born and still live to this day.
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The back of the guernsey represents the Long family’s paternal grandmother’s ancestors, the Maranunggu people, who hail from Daly River, Northern Territory.
The feathers represent the White-Tailed Sea Eagle. The eagle is the protector, hunter and all-seeing totem of the Maranunggu people.
The artwork featured on the guernsey was hand-drawn by Emily Long and is a modern interpretation of traditional Indigenous artwork.
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“I only recently started drawing as a way to learn more and feel a deeper connection to my family’s history,” Emily said.
“It’s allowed me to interpret ancient stories in a modern way, and to have them featured on the guernsey is incredible.
It means a lot to our whole family to have our ancestors represented and the stories that have been passed down by generations living on forever through this piece.”
The Saints 2019 Indigenous guernsey is now available for purchase either in store at RSEA Park or online right now.