Lions and SUNS reveal Indigenous Guernseys

One of the many highlights of Sir Doug Nicholls Round is the stunning, specially designed jumpers and the fascinating stories behind them. 

The Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS have unveiled their 2023 Indigenous Guernseys to be worn throughout the umpoming Sir Doug Nicholls Rounds, which celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and its contribution to our game.

Brisbane Lions 

Designed by premiership players Des Headland and Ash McGrath, the club’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round guernsey represents the stories of each player and their families. The guernsey itself is a tale of two halves – which is signified by the initials DJH (Des James Headland) on the left side and CHM (Cliff Henry McGrath) on the right side. The curved U symbol, used widely across Indigenous art and seen throughout the guernsey design, symbolises a person – depicting a birds-eye view of the shape left in the ground after a human has sat crossed legged.

Painted by Kevin Bynder, the guernsey also features local landmarks and other significant artworks including the Brisbane (Meanjin) River on the right side. The circle and dot shapes surrounding both the Swan River and Brisbane River represents the Whajuk-Noongar people and the communities apart of Turrbal nation respectively. The top left of the painting illustrates the song lines, which represents the pathways of the Fitzroy Football Club and Brisbane Bears Football Club before merging to become the Brisbane Lions. The inside of the neckline includes the six totems of the current Indigenous players on the Lions list. The centre of the design represents the Brisbane Lions Football Club, with the players represented through the 18 U-shape symbols surrounding the circle – which represents The Gabba, the name Woolloongabba means whirling waters. The four long straight lines represent the spears the Indigenous people use for war. Surrounding these lines are 11 circles which connect to the football club, these symbolise the VFL and AFL premierships won by Fitzroy and the Brisbane Lions. The dot shapes in the middle are a representation of the supporters, staff and families of the Club. The back of the guernsey features the MCG and represents the premierships that were won at the ground. 

The Lions will wear their home Sir Doug Nicholls Round guernsey for Saturday night’s Q clash against the Gold Coast Suns at The Gabba. Then on Sunday, May 28 they will wear their clash Sir Doug Nicholls Round Guernsey in Adelaide where they take on the Crows at Adelaide Oval. 

Gold Coast SUNS

Throughout home matches at Heritage Bank Stadium in 2022, spectators had the opportunity to add their fingerprint to the artwork, representing SUNS members, supporters, players, staff and the broader Gold Coast community coming together to be part of Our Cultural Journey. SUNS defender and Indigenous artist Jy Farrar included this in the design which was also contributed to by members of the Gold Coast community, including Larrakia man and artist Trent Lee who designed the crocodile prominently featured and alongside the eagle which was designed by Yugambeh man and artist Luther Cora. The crocodile directly represents the Northern Territory and the SUNS players who have direct connection with its lands and waterways, while the eagle, which represents the Gold Coast, is a totem to some of the traditional custodians of the land. The sun, which has been central to four of the club’s previous Indigenous guernseys as well as game day warm-up shirts and training apparel, is watermarked throughout the design and demonstrates the centrepiece and foundation of the club’s journey. It also has special significance, representing the meeting place for everyone, connecting people together and embracing people from all cultures and backgrounds. The names of Indigenous SUNS players past and present are also included on the back of the guernseys, as featured on previous editions.

The blue guernsey will be worn in the Round 10 QClash against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba and will be available for auction after the game. The SUNS will wear the red guernsey in both Round 11 and Round 12 matches against the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide Crows in Darwin, and as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations in Round 16 against Collingwood at Heritage Bank Stadium.

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