The Sharks have launched their 2022 Indigenous Jersey, with artworks and concept created and designed by Aboriginal Graphic Designer and Artist Elaine Chambers-Hegarty.
A striking design the Sharks will wear in their indigenous round match against the Roosters on May 28, the 2022 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.
“We were put in contact with Elaine through our ongoing partnership with Deadly Choices,” Rachal Allan, Sharks Indigenous Programs coordinator said, with the Club recently signing a 12-month contract extension with Deadly Choices to continue to provide health and wellbeing education and management pathways to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Shire.
Ms Chambers-Hegarty designed the jersey artwork based on the local area which is on the Land of the Gweagal People of the Dharawal Nation, the name Cronulla coming from the local Aboriginal word ‘Kurranulla’ meaning the place of pink seashells.
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.
Gathering places represent the Sharks players coming together and gathering on the field at Pointsbet Stadium on Dharawal Country from their traditional Country or Nation across 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, depicted circling in a feeding frenzy, representing the physicality, precision, and force in the game of rugby league.
The design also incorporates local fish species which were completed by Kirinari Hostel students to add to the combined story of the shoreline. The “schools” of fish are traveling their pathways, depicting the educational opportunities provided to students at the hostel.
It is on the sleeve of the jersey where the Sharks indigenous player families and Nation of Origin are recognised through their totems.
In Aboriginal cultures a totem define peoples roles and responsibilities, their relationships with each other and with creation and is commonly an animal that is inherited by members of a clan or family as their spiritual emblem.
The totems displayed on this jersey are the goanna, representing Wade Graham (Bundjalung), Jesse Ramien, Andrew Fifita and Nicho Hynes (Wiradjuri), the black snake, representing Braydon Trindall (Kamilaroi) and the emu, representing Will Kennedy (Kamilaroi).
“Elaine’s artwork comes together to tell a story on a beautiful jersey that our players can be proud to wear, representing our club, our rich history and culture, our commitment to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the connection to Land in Kurranulla,” Ms Allan added.
In addition to the players proudly wearing the jersey during the NRL’s annual indigenous round, the Sharks also have a limited number of 2022 Indigenous jerseys for sale. CLICK HERE to visit the Sharks store.