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‘Enduring Connections’ - Raiders 2022 Indigenous Jersey

The Canberra Raiders have officially launched their 2022 Indigenous Jersey which will be worn against the Parramatta Eels in NRL Indigenous Round in round 12.  

The Raiders 2022 Indigenous Range is available to purchase at www.raidersshop.com.au   

The Jersey has been designed by Kayannie Denigan, a Luritja woman, through collaboration with the NRL’s School to Work Program and the University of Canberra.  

Artist Kayannie Denigan with Raiders Indigenous players and NRL School to Work participants.
Artist Kayannie Denigan with Raiders Indigenous players and NRL School to Work participants.

The Design splits the jersey up into five panels, each of which have been inspired by creative writing from students in the NRL School to Work program. The jersey also depicts the totems of the six Indigenous players who are in the current NRL squad.  

Sebastian kris and Xavier Savage
Sebastian kris and Xavier Savage

Kayannie Denigan said her artwork titled ‘Enduring Connections’ is a wonderful way to tell the stories of Indigenous culture and the importance of people’s stories and connections.  

“I think that having jerseys like this and the Indigenous Round is really important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Ms Denigan said. “To see football clubs show Indigenous people that they are valued and respected is wonderful and I think that this story will touch the people who wear the jersey, obviously the players but also the fans. 

“It’s really cool. I’m really excited to see them on game day wearing my art. It’s a bit of a dream come true, it’s fantastic.” 

The first panel symbolises salt water and shows seaweed, which is used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes by Indigenous peoples across the country. This was inspired by School to Work student Carney who wrote about his connection to Yuin country and to the saltwater.  

The second panel depicts rock formations, such as mountains, rocky valleys, and waterfalls which are often sites of cultural and spiritual importance. School to Work student Jack used inspiration from a personal experience where he was able to visit the gravestones of his great grandmother and great grandfather. 

Eucalyptus leaves, which are endemic to Australia, are portrayed on panel three which recognises the medicinal, cultural and practical uses of trees. School to Work student Riley used her totem, a snake, to speak about the sights and sounds of country including “The crunch of eucalyptus leaves.”  

Panel four represents the people, places, and connection to country. The old people who guide us, the important places and people that connect culture. School to Work student Kimberley used inspiration from her connection to Tulmur (Ipswich) and how this connection helped her through challenging times, while Stewart used song to speak of his connection – “The old people spirits I know are there, there’s a whistle in the breeze of an ancient song, I can’t speak but my heart sings along.”  

The final panel encompasses nature and represents everything from plants and animals, through to the smells and sounds that connect Indigenous people to home. School to Work student Georgie likened the experience to growing new roots in Canberra, away from country. While Riley said she was envious of the snake, for it slinks through the ground, feeling dirt, leaves and sticks that make this land home.  

The jersey also features five totems on the sleeve of the jersey and on the back of the run-out-tee. The Lyre Bird (Adam Elliott), Goanna (Jack Wighton), Emu (Elijah Anderson, Xavier Savage), Wedgetail Eagle (Jamal Fogarty) and the Crocodile (Sebastian Kris, Xavier Savage), are all symbolic of the cultures of members of the current playing group. 

Xavier Savage, who is proud of his Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island descent, is excited about the opportunity of wearing the new Jersey when the team meets the Eels later in the month. 

“It means a lot, putting on this Jersey,” Savage said. “It brings a sense of pride and a sort of comradery between not just Indigenous players at this club, but non-Indigenous players also.” 

Jamal Fogarty
Jamal Fogarty

Fellow Indigenous teammate and proud Mununjali man, Jamal Fogarty, appreciates the platform that the NRL’s Indigenous Round offers. 

“This is one of the days in the calendar where the spotlight’s on us and our culture, and everyone celebrates us,” Fogarty said.  

The Raiders 2022 Indigenous Range is available to purchase at www.raidersshop.com.au   

Elijah Anderson
Elijah Anderson
Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.