Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat – Indigenous Round Midweek Special!

I love to write this post every year as it features the new guernseys that teams will use for their Round 10 games.  The history of the aboriginal people of Australia is quite complex.  Too complex for me to address in a simple post, but credit does have to be given to the AFL for promoting the heritage of the aboriginal people and standing firmly against racism.  And now, here are this year’s guernseys:

Adelaide Crows

The Crows will wear a jumper designed by the aunt of Eddie Betts in Indigenous Round this year. Renowned Australian Aboriginal artist, Susie Betts, created the vibrant and culturally significant artwork for the jumper. The design features a crow in full flight on a navy blue base, surrounded by red, gold and white circles and dots. The jumper also features the ‘R’ RECOGNISE logo, which represents the Club’s ongoing commitment to Reconciliation in Australia. Susie is the sister of Eddie’s father, Eddie Betts the second. Their family belongs to the Wirangu people, as well as the Kokata and Mirning communities on the far West Coast of South Australia.

In the Wirangu culture, the crow is called ‘Garnga’ and plays an important role spiritually as a messenger and healer.  “This design represents a culture that is thousands and thousands of years old. We’re sharing the story of the Garnga and what it means to us,” Susie said.  “We wanted to have the right elements in the design, so that it represents something very strong, not just for our family and our culture, but for the Crows, supporters and everyone else it effects.  We have the crow or the Garnga in the centre. The circles and the dots are talking about the realm that the Garnga belong to spiritually. The swell down the bottom of the jumper is about the power and the magic that heals. It’s a very special design. It will be an empowering moment to see Eddie wearing the jumper and representing his family, his culture and his background.”

Brisbane Lions

From the artist: You may notice that every circle on the jersey is connected by a path – this symbol represents a place, a community or a tribe. It means that we aren’t all from the same town, city or country and we have travelled both near and far to one destination…Brisbane. This club, this city, this family is the one thing that connects all together. The small “U” shaped symbols in each circle represent either a man or a woman. This is our community, the people who impact your lives daily, the ones who support you, who pick you up when you’re down, the people who you have lost and gained.

In the bottom left circle on the back of the Guernsey, is a group of women holding hands. These women represent the women of the pride. These are the ladies who come down and watch your training sessions religiously, the ones holding functions and gatherings to raise money and numbers for the Brisbane Lions football club. These women are mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, daughters and most importantly Partners who work tirelessly to support you. The large hands on the front of the Guernsey represent friendship, sportsmanship and courage. Let them remind you to tackle each and every obstacle you may face front on and with both hands. The feet on the back of the Guernseys are to remind you that you have made it. You are walking in the footsteps of many great players before you and also leaving a path for someone to fulfil their dreams in the future. The large yellow boomerang on front of the Guernsey is a symbol that represents a man, a fearless hunter and a provider. i have placed this over your heart to give you strength to fight for each and every win, to learn from the loses and to never give up.

Finally a large part of this jersey is dedicated to a Club legend; a proud and strong man that made the most of life and chased every dream with success. Sir Douglas Nicholls. The map of Australia with a cross shows his home country and his place of birth, and the cross represents his faith in Christianity. The football goal posts represent his love for the game and his huge achievement being the only Aboriginal player in the Victorian Football League at the time. During his 6 seasons with the Fitzroy Football Club, Sir Douglas Nicolls played 54 games wearing mainly the #9 jersey. Lastly the dates represent his D.O.B and D.O.D, and the footprints is the path that he has paved for all indigenous players.

Carlton Blues

This year’s guernsey, which will be worn when the Blues face Geelong in Round 10 at Etihad Stadium, was designed by proud Wurundjeri-willam woman Mandy Nicholson. In conjunction with official on-field supplier Nike, the Blues launched their new guernsey with Sir Doug Nicholls’ daughter Aunty Pam Pedersen and Carlton star Andrew Walker at Ikon Park. The design of the guernsey honours the life and journey of Sir Doug Nicholls of which the upcoming 2016 AFL Indigenous Round is named after.

“Sir Doug has given so much, not only to his people but also to the wider Australian community,” Nicholson said. “I asked permission from his daughter Aunty Pam and granddaughter Ngarra if I could depict his Creation Spirits (totems) that connect him to his proud Yorta Yorta heritage and they both gave me their blessing. I am very proud to have incorporated the significant contribution Sir Doug made to his community in this year’s Carlton Football Club guernsey.”

Both the Dangala (Murray) and Birrarung (Yarra) Rivers are depicted in the design, while Sir Doug’s creation spirits are incorporated via the long neck turtle and emu seen on the front of the guernsey.  The rivers represent unity and connect to country, while the small circles along the sides of the rivers show the many paths travelled by Sir Doug and his people to Melbourne, both for traditional purposes of trade and politics but also the many paths made towards reconciliation in the past, present and into the future.

Collingwood Magpies

Designed by Indigenous artist Nathan Patterson, the guernsey will be worn during Collingwood’s round 10 match against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday 29 May. “The story behind the design is around the recognition the past and present Indigenous footballers that have played for Collingwood”, Patterson told Collingwood Media.   “It was important to represent the attacking Barrawarn (magpie) as these birds are extremely territorial. Extremely loyal and fierce, these birds do not give up easily.”

Patterson’s design also recognises all Indigenous players to have pulled on the Black and White stripes throughout Collingwood’s 124-year history. The circles within the dots symbolise the range of Indigenous communities that these players originate from, with the Collingwood Football Club’s traditional home of Victoria Park represented as a mutual meeting place. In conjunction with the Collingwood Football Club Foundation’s Barrawarn Program, the guernsey highlights the Magpies’ commitment to Australia’s first people.

Essendon Bombers

ESSENDON champion Gavin Wanganeen will swell with pride when the Bombers run out wearing a guernsey he designed for the ‘Dreamtime at the ‘G’ clash with Richmond in round 10. The 1993 Brownlow medallist said his design represents the connection between the club and the Indigenous community. The jumper features 23 U-shapes – symbolising indigenous footballers to have played for Essendon – moving towards a circle in the middle of the Dons’ sash, which represents the club.

Fremantle Dockers

This guernsey is not very much different from the one used in previous years.  I was not able to find a description for it.  Nice shoes, though.

Geelong Cats

Designed by past player Nathan Djerrkura, the guernsey will be proudly worn in the Indigenous Round clash with Carlton on May 29 and in the Close The Gap match against Greater Western Sydney at Simonds Stadium the following weekend. The guernsey represents the fresh and salt water people of Arnhem Land. The arc lines represent the waves in the ocean. The pattern within the hoops represents fresh water rock pools, lakes, rivers and inland communities.

Gold Coast Suns

It’s the same guernsey as last year, but I did manage to find some info on it:

Thirteen past and present Indigenous players from the Gold Coast SUNS will be featured proudly on a commemorative Guernsey during this weekend’s AFL’s Indigenous Round. The special Indigenous jumper was designed by local Yugambeh man Luther Cora with the assistance of Jarrod Harbrow. The guernsey features a prominent red background, a colour synonymous with the traditional owners of the land.

The artwork and colours on the side panels also represent the Torres Strait Islanders people. On the back of the jumper the hands signify the thirteen past and present Indigenous players to represent the GC SUNS. The names of Indigenous players Sean Lemmens, Jarrod Harbrow, Harley Bennell, Brandon Matera, Steven May, Timmy Sumner, Jack Martin, Jarrod Garlett, Roland Ah Chee, Liam Patrick, Nathan Krakouer, Rex Liddy and Callum Ah Chee will also be printed on the inside collar of the Guernsey.

GWS Giants

It is the second year in a row that the team’s Indigenous jumper has been designed by Luke Penrith; a proud Aboriginal man with cultural ties to the Wiradjuri, Wotjobaluk, Yuin and Gumbaynggirr nations. This year’s design is completely different to 2015 and reflects the growth in the GIANTS over the early years and the journey the club is on. Penrith said he’s thrilled with how the jumper looks. “I’m over the moon with the design, it’s very bright and very catchy. I recently shared it with Nathan Wilson and Zac Williams and they really enjoyed it. Those guys have been playing some good footy and are really looking forward to wearing it against Adelaide in a couple of weeks.”

The GIANTS have five indigenous players on their list: Zac Williams, Nathan Wilson, Jarrod Pickett, Paul Ahern and Jeremy Finlayson; and will wear the Indigenous jumper when they play Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Saturday May 28.

Hawthorn Hawks

Indigenous players Shaun Burgoyne, Bradley Hill, Cyril Rioli and Jermaine Miller-Lewis collaborated with Yorta Yorta/Wiradjuri painter Jirra Lulla-Harvey to create this year’s Indigenous Round guernsey. The design process has been a twelve-month journey for Lulla-Harvey and the Hawthorn players. The guernsey follows on from the story of the first Indigenous guernsey worn by the club. The inaugural Indigenous guernsey represented the Hawthorn local area, while the new design represents each of Hawthorn’s current Indigenous players and their joining together on the land of the Wurundjeri.

Lulla-Harvey, who designed the guernsey in consultation with the players, said the new design aims to capture the story and culture of each of the players. “I wanted to try and capture their different journeys and individual motifs that represented each of them,” said Lulla-Harvey. “The players are the ones that fans want to know about, they are everyone’s heroes and so for the fans to get an insight into their life outside football and their cultural identities, I think is really important.”

Cyril Rioli, who contributed to the design process, said he was excited to run out in the guernsey in Round 10. “It is going to be amazing to wear the guernsey and the family will be excited too. It will be great to run out with the other boys and having their designs on the guernsey also,” he said. A special feature of the Indigenous guernsey is a short story from each Indigenous player that sits inside the collar of the jumper. The club will also wear the guernsey in Round 22 when it takes on West Coast at Domain Stadium.  Hawthorn Football Club currently has five indigenous players on its list; Burgoyne, Rioli, Hill, Miller-Lewis and Kieran Lovell, who was recruited by the club in 2015 NAB AFL Draft. 

Melbourne Demons

Front of guernsey

This design shows the wangim in flight mode depicting speed and fitness, connecting this to the attributes of the original game of Marngrook and the modern game of AFL. The wangim are embedded into the Birrarung (Yarra-river of mists) to show the connection to the Traditional Custodians of Melbourne, the Wurundjeri people. We are fresh water people as the Birrarung runs right through the middle of our Country, from the ngurrak (mountains) to the warinj (sea). It also honours the original course of the Birrarung before it was straightened and how it used to flow strong and cleanse the area by flooding annually. The small pathways seen throughout the river are the paths of our ancestor’s gurrong (canoes). These gurrong have travelled the waterways of Melbourne either for day to day life, but also represent the many visitors that come for large traditional gatherings such as the Tanderrum. This ceremony happens just over the Barak Bridge from the MCG. This traditional practise has been reignited since 2013 and is an annual event where the mobs of the Kulin come together to share and dance. These paths created by the many gurrong (canoes) are strong and will always be there. The 4 wangim also honour our ancestors from the north, south, east and west.

Back of guernsey

This design honours one of most respected Ngurungaeta (leaders), Beruk (William Barak). He has left an enormous legacy for his descendants by helping record our language Woi wurrung, the many stories of creation he shared, and his paintings predict traditional ceremony, which have all survived the colonial attempts to destroy our culture. The carved design is from one of his original shields and also connects to the fact that there are scar trees still remaining in the MCG carpark area. Scars are caused for the creation of gayaam (shields), gurrong(canoes), wilam (bark for huts). The Dreaming Track on the shoulder shows the many paths travelled by our ancestors across the generations. It also honours the fact that Beruk and a number of men walked from Healesville to Melbourne several times to ask for better conditions for his people at Coranderrk Station. The Dreaming Track on the waist is the Birrarung (Yarra = river of mist), such a strong symbol for our people, our connection to this river isn’t simply physical, but spiritual and emotional. Our creation stories that Berak has handed down explain how this river came to be.

North Melbourne Kangaroos

Indigenous artist Sarrita King, the designer of North’s previous two ‘Our Icon’ Indigenous jumpers, has teamed up with her sister, Tarisse, to create a third jumper ‘Bloodline’. This stunning collaboration combines the striking styles of the King sisters and provides an aerial view of the land. Dividing the pair’s work is a thick line – the bloodline – which is symbol of their connection to each other and the land.

Port Adelaide Power

FOR THE eight Aboriginal players on Port Adelaide’s list, the journey to the Port Adelaide family is one very special. It’s a journey expressed in Port Adelaide’s 2016 Sir Douglas Nicholls Round jumper – ‘Bambara’ – designed by third-year forward Karl Amon. In keeping with the tradition of wearing an Aboriginal jumper design each season, Amon was invited by the club to create a design that represents his language group. It makes him the first player to design a guernsey for the Port Adelaide Football Club.

“Bambara means ‘journey’ in my language group, which is the Jandai language group from the Noonuccal people on North Stradbroke Island,” Amon told “The journey it talks about is the one taken by each of our eight players towards the club, the way that they’ve become part of the club.” In designing this guernsey, Amon becomes the first player to design a jumper for the Port Adelaide Football Club. Previous Aboriginal-themed jumpers have been designed by Jake Neade’s community in Elliott, Brendon Ah Chee’s mother Valerie and Chad Wingard’s grandmother Barbara.

“The small circles represent the eight players on our AFL list, the larger circle represents the club, which is the coaches, other players, staff and volunteers,” Amon explains. “I didn’t leave off the supporters either, they’re represented by the smaller dots around the outside. It was a real honour to represent my family and community by designing the jumper, it’s something I’m really proud of.”

Richmond Tigers

The Richmond Football Club has unveiled its sixth Dreamtime guernsey, which highlights the Club’s past, present, and future players. This year’s guernsey, which will be worn when the Tigers play Essendon in the annual ‘Dreamtime at the ‘G’ match in Round 10, was designed by 17-year-old Patricia McKean. McKean is a Kirrae Whurrong woman from Warrnambool, who has been connected with the Club’s centre for Indigenous youth, the Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI), for the past three years. During her time at the KGI, McKean emerged as a confident leader and was approached by Richmond to design the guernsey because of her passion for digital art.

The story of the guernsey aligns with Reconciliation Australia’s theme for 2016 ‘Our history, our story, our future’. This year’s guernsey is based on the Club’s yellow clash guernsey – the first time Richmond’s Dreamtime guernsey has been predominantly yellow in colour. Minkgill – star in Kirrae Whurrong language – are the five dots surrounding a main dot used to represent our star players past, present and future. The curved image between the Minkgills is like the river of life that flows through time from the beginning to the present, and into the future

St. Kilda Saints

The design features six concentric circles that symbolically refers to the geographic layout of the Boonwurrung Bay region. This area extends along the northern, eastern and southern shorelines of Port Phillip, the Mornington Peninsula, Western Port and its two main islands, and land to the south-east down to Wilsons Promontory.

The six clans of the Boonwurrung are known as Yaluk-ut weelam, Ngurrak weelam, Mayune baluk, Boonwurrung baluk, Yawen djeera and Yaluk baluk. “I am very proud to be involved with the Sir Doug Nicholls Round which showcases the best of Australia’s most dynamic Indigenous AFL players,” said the designer of the guernsey, Marcus Lee.

Sydney Swans

The Sydney Swans Indigenous guernsey was designed by none other than Lisa Sansbury, mother of Swans champion Adam Goodes. The artwork seen on the guernsey represents the Indigenous communities of Sydney. It tells the tale of Indigenous people coming together around Sydney’s harbour and estuaries, portraying the way of life that many Sydneysiders experience today.

West Coast Eagles

The West Coast Eagles have re-released the highly popular gold edition of the Indigenous guernsey in the lead-up to this year’s Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round showdown with the Gold Coast SUNS at Domain Stadium on Sunday, May 29 In 2014, the club released a unique white version of the design to mark Indigenous Round and it was widely acclaimed as one of the more striking designs unveiled across the AFL.  The guernsey, which was designed by Noongar artist Peter Farmer, tells the story of the waalitj (wedge-tailed eagle) which is the strongest totem in Noongar culture.

“My artwork includes tracks which connect to six fresh water sources throughout the state of Western Australia,” Mr Farmer said when outlining the story of the jumper last year. “Featured in the design is an image of the waalitji painted ready for ceremony and attack. The traditional Noongar dreaming story, in short, is about a great drought; the animals and Noongar people could not find any freshwater sources.  The waalitj’s eye was the only one that could find water from searching high up in the sky. The Noongar people followed him at this time of great hardship and adversity, and always found a fresh water source. The moral of the story is through great adversity, the waalitj finds a path.  His strength and power is respected and revered throughout Noongar country, because of his capacity to not simply overcome adversity, but to succeed in places that others fail.”

The club lists the Indigenous Round match at home as one of its priorities every year as it gives West Coast the chance to pay homage to Indigenous players and fans for their contribution over the last 30 years.

Western Bulldogs

The Bulldogs guernsey was developed by a group of Ballarat indigenous artists named The Pitcha Makin Fellas, and it continues the strong ties the Bulldogs have with the regional city.  The figure in the centre of the guernsey, known as the Great Black Pointer, is pointing the way for all, giving direction and showing a path to follow. The jumper symbolises an elder statesman within the community showing leadership and good guidance to the younger people.


This also helps for me to remind you to PUT THE TIP IN!  See you on Sunday with the results!



International Member of the Geelong Cats and recovering Steelers fan. Likes Butts. And Balls. And Boobs. Pretty much anything that starts with the letter B. Preferably together.

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Moose -The End Is Well NighballsofsteelandfuryDon TDoktor Zymmlitre_cola Recent comment authors
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Don T

Swans and cats were my favorite. Great stuff.

Doktor Zymm

Wait, they call jerseys guernseys? Do only bailiwicks get sportswear named after them, or are all the Channel Islands fair game? Is there somewhere that refers to shorts as sarks? Or sweatpants as alderneys?



Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh


Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

The Sydney Swans guy just banged your sister…… bareback.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh



Fremantle would be an upgrade if they were just outfitted by Dockers.

King Hippo

Carlton’s is the bestest, naturally.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh


Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Well fucking done. Well done by the AFL too.

Also; the Dan Snyder joke is already done.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I like these jerseys too; interesting, different, and a story behind the design that is more than the marketing department running it up the flagpole to have it agreeanced by the focus group, then hand out assignment capsules and unbundle it to the public.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Cleveland did an out-of-focus group?


The Sydney Swans model looks like the offspring of Michael Bluth & Sally Sitwell.,_What_Will_I_Look_Like%3F?file=2x11_Out_on_a_Limb_(06).png
/Hope pic posts



Spanky Datass
Spanky Datass

Dan Snyder will now take credit for doing this every week.

Teddy's Bridge Over Troubled Water
Teddy's Bridge Over Troubled Water

A lot of these are so busy and esoteric that it’s hard for me to really get into them as uniforms.
The Collingwood Magpies one is pretty badass though. Definitely my favorite.


Western Bulldogs just look like a couple hipsters showing up to their first 5k.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Yeah, I’d bang them too.