Following the official launch of the 2022 NRL Indigenous Round, The Inner Sanctum takes a look at what your club’s jersey design is.
Brisbane’s 2022 design, labelled ‘Shared Dreaming’, has been designed by graphic designer and artist Casey Coolwell-Fisher.
Our dreaming is our spirit and soul returning to our people, land, sea, and sky, in either animal or plant form.
The artwork represents people from all different nations and tribes finding one another through the navigation of our stars, sharing knowledge, and being one.
The Raiders 2022 design, ‘Enduring Connections’, is designed by Kayannie Denigan, a Luritja woman, through collaboration with the NRL’s School to Work Program and the University of Canberra.
The style is inspired by the aerial view of the land of the Kayannie’s ancestors, and the stark but beautiful delineation of shrubs, grasses, rocks, and sand dunes.
The artwork features five distinct panels that incorporate the themes contained in the work of six NRL School to Work participants’, and the design represents our varying connections to country.
The totems of the current Canberra Raiders NRL Indigenous Players are also represented on this jersey.
Canterbury’s design this year is referred to as Gadigal, meaning ‘My Country My People’.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs would like to acknowledge and thank Pam Brandy-Hall, a proud Bundjalung Artist, for her design of our 2022 NRL Indigenous Jersey.
Cronulla’s 2022 Indigenous jersey is created and designed by Aboriginal graphic designer and artist Elaine Chambers-Hegarty.
The edition of the jersey features cultural links to the Koa, Kuku Yalanji, and Barada Barna people and the totems representing the families of the six Sharks senior Indigenous players.
This artwork depicts the shoreline of Cronulla, and the deeper sea, along with pink shells and pathways to represent the players and their journey, as well as the pathway to education and opportunities the local Kirinari Aboriginal Hostel provides to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from all over Australia.
The artwork fades from dark blue to light blue, expressing the gradients of the deep ocean as it approaches the shallows and the shoreline. The sharks representing the team are depicted circling in a feeding frenzy, representing the physicality, precision, and force in the game of rugby league.
Gold Coast Titans
Gold Coast’s 2022 jersey is designed by Kieran Chilcott, and the artwork symbolises the culmination of 15 years of the Gold Coast Titans as the club reflects on the past, and looks forward to the future.
A celebration of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprint at the club, the artwork acknowledges the 34 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander players, hailing from 16 different tribal groups, over the past 15 years.
The turtle is a nod to the Torres Strait Islander players, the stingray symbolises the Titans’ Gold Coast origins, and the dolphin is a spiritual connection for coastal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of the Gold Coast.
The artwork has also been shaped to represent a football stadium, with the fans and communities represented in the yellow surrounding designs.
Manly Sea Eagles
The Sea Eagles 2022 Indigenous jersey highlights the club’s partnership with Poche Indigenous Health Network.
The colourful design depicts the river system that meanders across the Australian landscape, which is the inspiration for the Poche Indigenous Health Network logo.
The circles represent gathering or meeting places, which are scattered across the landscape, similar to the Poche Health Centres across Australia.
The Storm’s 2022 Indigenous jersey is designed by Coree Thorpe, a proud Yorta Yorta, Gunnai, Gunditjmara, and Wurundjeri man and artist, who has used the inspiration of the Rainbow Serpent for his special creations.
Coree has used a familiar tale of the Rainbow Serpent to draw a connection to the Storm, and the club’s journey in the NRL throughout its first 24 years. The tale has strong ties to Storm’s journey up and down the east coast of Australia in recent seasons and also provides a symbol of how regeneration is required for each new season.
Diamonds adorn each side of the artwork, symbolising the men and women who came together to form the Melbourne Storm.
The Knights’ 2022 NRL Indigenous jersey is inspired by the artwork of Worimi man Gerard Black.
The artwork, Birriwal Guwiyn means Strong Spirit in the Gathang language, which was the language of the Birrbay, Guringay, and Worimi peoples. The artwork honours each of the nations and communities which the Newcastle Knights are proud to represent on and off the field.
When the jersey is being pulled on, it should be like putting on a spiritual shield of pride, honour, respect, and connection. Each player will feel this power and walk together onto the field 10ft tall knowing they are connected to the spirits of the land, sky, and sea and the Creator Spirit Baiyami.”
New Zealand Warriors
The Warriors 2022 jersey, developed by Te Tairāwhiti based Tā Moko artists Maia Gibbs (Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Kahungungu) and Henare Brooking (Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) of Toi Ake māori creative studio.
Te Amokura jersey takes its inspiration from the manu (bird) of the same name. known across the Pacific, Australia, and Aotearoa. The Amokura helped the great navigators of the pacific chart the largest body of water in the world. It is known for its two distinct red elongated tail feathers which were highly prized by foremost warriors and chiefs throughout Te moana nui a Kiwa. These are represented by two red strips on the back of the jersey.
Blue represents mana moana. The ocean that connects Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific, carrying our collective whakapapa. Green represents mana whenua. The land, Aotearoa acknowledges the true home of the Warriors and importantly the mana whenua of Australia. Our Aboriginal whanaunga and the original people of Australia who have played host to the team over the last three seasons.
Red represents mana tāngata. The people, connect players past, present, and future, interweaving the whakapapa of each individual as they move into the field of battle. The black represents Te Pō, a place of development and learning while the white is Te Ao, a place of expression and action.
North Queensland Cowboys
North Queensland’s 2022 design is labelled “My Journey My Way” and is designed by Indigenous artist Margaret Mara.
My Journey My Way is a celebration of the journey we embark on from the moment we are born to the time we become the ancestors guiding our peoples.
Parramatta’s 2022 jersey is designed by contemporary Indigenous artist Sean Kinchela, a proud Gamilaroi and Wiradjuri man who tells stories passed down from his family through art.
The design is inspired by the Burramattagal people, the local clan known to have settled into Parramatta. The meeting places represent some of Sydney’s clan groups who interacted and used the Parramatta river as a way of living.
The Eel in the centre of the jersey represents the river which was used as a food source, cultural practice grounds, and as a means of transport. Aboriginal people lived off the ocean and rivers sustainably for thousands of years.
Penrith’s 2022 jersey, designed by Natasha Fordham, in collaboration with Glen Liddiard, recognises the role of both men and women in Rugby League, particularly those in the Darug Nation.
The jersey comprises both male and female handprints, representing both genders as equals. Situated under the handprints, encircled by the symbol for men and women are the Darug Totems, a fruit bat for men and a ringtail possum for women.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
The Rabbitoh’s 2022 jersey is designed by proud Wahlabul man, Uncle Joe and it recognises the women in life who give us everything.
The tree on the jersey represents the birthing tree, used by our people for many generations. The jersey is known as Natcha Tong Noonga, which means through the mother.
St. George Illawarra Dragons
The Dragons jersey was designed by Joanne Nikki, a proud Torres Strait Islander from Saibai in the Torres Strait. Nikki won a competition to design the jersey and it was selected by the club’s reconciliation action plan committee, staff, players, and local elders.
The fiery colours in the background represent the fiery breath of the dragon and the passion the team put into the game and your contributions to the community. You might note it is shaped to reflect the Illawarra and the land of the Dharawal country.
The whale is there as the totem of the Dharawal people. The two larger circles represent the club’s two main footy grounds. The symbols around the two larger circles represent hunters, the players of St George Illawarra.
The Roosters’ 2022 design is representative of the community and hope for the future. It is titled “New Growth New Hope.”
The jersey was put together by a number of artists, before being stitched together by Aboriginal artist Jordan Ardler.
The handprints and two boomerangs crossing rivers that express a newfound connection to country and culture. A rainbow serpent and surrounding dot work, representing the creation of new opportunities and experiences as well as growth in the community. The meeting place in running water is painted in the tricolours of the Roosters in support of the club, and a reflection of self-progress and new life choices.
The Tigers’ Indigenous jersey for 2022 represents the club’s future, history, and more, and is designed by artist Tyler Smith.
The two symmetrical designs along the bottom of the jersey’s front represent elders, or in Wests Tigers’ case, the foundations of the club and the people who have helped build it. The curved symbols in between the jersey’s ‘V’ represent the people who represent the club at present, from the playing group to the wider organisation as a whole.
The dotted white lines at the top of the jersey’s front represent the people who will take the club forward into the future, continuing what previous generations have achieved. The curved lines below the jersey’s ‘V’ represent the waterways of the local area in which the Wests Tigers club is based.
The totems of the current Aboriginal Wests Tigers players have also been included on the back of the jersey, with totems being inherited by cultures, families, or communities as a spiritual emblem.
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