Proud Indigenous Canberra Raiders players Jack Wighton and Brenko Lee officially unveiled the Raiders 2016 Indigenous jersey today, which will be worn against the North Queensland Cowboys on Monday night at GIO Stadium.
The artwork for the jersey was created by Indigenous artist Elle Binge, who also created the design for the Raiders 2014 Indigenous jersey. The title of the artwork for the current jersey is ‘Culture’ with each element of the jersey having a different meaning.
Ms Binge said the artwork had significant importance to her culture and background.
“The black and white hands symbolise reconciliation, the circles in the middle depict a meeting place and the six horse shoe shapes symbolises the six important aspects of Aboriginal culture that have been passed down over generations to generations,” Ms Binge said. “The six aspects are: lore, language, stories, song, dance and art. The colours reflect the Canberra Raiders. The dots symbolise my ancestors that have gone before me and who have kept traditions alive, giving our aboriginal culture identity.
“I want to thank the staff and management of the Canberra Raiders for giving me a second chance at showcasing my artistic talents and I’m proud to be a Raiders fan since 82.”
This week is NAIDOC week and Jack Wighton said wearing the jersey for the Cowboys match was an honour and a wonderful way to celebrate and pay tribute to his culture, after representing the Indigenous All-Stars earlier this season.
“Representing the Indigenous all-stars was a great moment for me and to have our own jersey in green now is awesome. Elle has done a really great job designing the jersey,” Wighton said. “Being a role model for all the young indigenous kids and representing your family is very important to me.”
Brenko Lee said wearing the jersey has huge significance for him personally and for his family.
“It means a lot to be wearing this jersey. I’m wearing this jersey for my family and my culture. The indigenous boys at the club here are very proud of where we come from and pride ourselves on that on and off the footy field.”