Indigenous Round

Vic’s best Indigenous jumper: East Point Dragons

The winning design: East Point Dragons Female Football Club’s stunning Indigenous jumper, designed by player Sammy Stephens. Image: East Point Dragons Female Football Club/Instagram

The votes are in… East Point Dragons Female Football Club’s stunning Indigenous jumper, designed by player Sammy Stephens, has been judged as the best in Victoria. 

In celebration of Indigenous Round happening at local footy clubs across the state, AFL Victoria put a call out for submissions for the best local footy Indigenous guernsey in the state. AFL Vic received a number of great submissions from local footy clubs in all corners of Victoria, from Portland through to Balnarring, each with their own unique story and design by a local Indigenous artist.

The designs were shared across AFL Vic social media channels, leaving the community to vote on which guernsey they would like to see celebrated as the best local footy Indigenous jumper in Victoria for 2024.

Votes came through in the thousands, and AFL Victoria is proud to announce that the winning design, voted for by the community, is the East Point Dragons Female Football Club, from the Ballarat Football Netball League.

The guernsey was designed by Senior Women’s player Sammy Stephens and represents the community and land in which the East Point Dragons Football Club is founded upon. Sammy shared the story behind her design with her teammates prior to their first game wearing it.

“I’ve tried to tell a story within this design and I hope you can all connect with some part of this. [The jumper shows] women at a meeting place which obviously represents us, playing footy, doing what we love. The mountains women have climbed to be able to do what we can to this day," Sammy said.

"The stars to represent what we are able to achieve as a team. The family that we continue to create and the dots represent coming together and uniting as one. The inspiration for the back is the platypus, it’s Ballarat’s totem animal. And the message behind it is ‘asking you to dare yourself, no matter what others think you must always express yourself and what you believe in’”, she told them.

The team wore Sammy’s design for their Round 5 and 6 clashes, coming home with a strong win on both occasions. The entire AFL Vic and East Point Dragons community congratulate Sammy on her outstanding design.

Keep reading to learn about the story behind the other incredible designs in this competition.

Number 1

Drysdale Hawks

Designed by local Indigenous artist, David Flagg.

Via AFL Barwon:

“The hawk represents the Club’s logo. The boomerangs show the strength of the club from the junior levels through to the senior playing groups. The cycles and lines are for everyone involved at the club and connection they have with one another, creating a safety net for each other.”

Number 2

Portarlington Demons

Designed by local artist Chris Delamont, a proud Wiradjuri/Nari Nari man and Portarlington FNC’s Indigenous Advocate.

Via AFL Barwon:

“The story starts with Bunjil the wedge-tailed eagle and his place as the creator sprit for the local Wudawurrung people. Bunjil is looking over the Portarlington Football Netball club and its work in creating an inclusive, welcoming club. The center circle represents the club and its efforts in creating a meeting place and inviting all to join them, no matter where you are from or the journey you have taken, all will be welcome.”

Number 3

South Barwon Swans

Designed by local artist Billy-Jay Otoole, a proud Wadawurrung artist (@Papul Art on Facebook)

Via AFL Barwon:

“The design was centered around the Club’s traditional colors, incorporating the light blue to share the history of the clubs colors, worn by Barwon Football Club before transferring to South Barwon. Using the colors, important features were incorporated in the landscape around the football club, with the designs representing coastal country, freshwater country, hill/mountain country and including eucalyptus leaves as a sign of cleansing and welcoming all onto Wadawurrung Country.”

Number 4

Geelong West Giants

Designed by Ethan Liddle.

Via AFL Barwon:

“The symbols on this design represents the artist’s journey. The front of the design represents travelling from Apmere Atynhe to where they are today and symbolises them leaving home and moving down to Wadurrung country. The six countries on the back of the jumper capture where the artist is from and symbolise the family they have there. This includes the Artekerre community in Arrernte Country, the Ltyentye Apurte Community in Eastern Arrernte Country, the Artekerre community in Alyawarr Country, the Arrengaye Apmere community in Alyawarr Country, the Mpartnwe community in Central Arrernte Country, and finally Waduwurrung Country where they live today.”

Number 5

South Morang FNC

Designed in 2023 by Kahli, whose son plays footy for South Morang.

Via South Morang FNC on Facebook:

“South Morang’s Indigenous jumper artwork is designed around the club colours. The artwork is based around the club’s four core values, Respect, Growth, Strength and Pride. The circle in the middle represents the Aboriginal land on which the players play and acknowledge. The dots represent the many players that come together, while the line work is the continuing pathways of growth for the club.

Number 6

Coburg Women’s

Designed by Current GWS player and Ningy Ningy artist Aliesha Newman.

Via Coburg FNC Women’s on Instagram:

“Aliesha has designed jumpers for the Sydney Swans, Williamstown, Melbourne and boots for several AFL players in the past few years. The guernsey has been designed to be used as a clash guernsey throughout the 2024 season. The yarning circles on the bottom half are to represent the club values. The yarning circles on the top half are to show the connection between the club’s men’s and women’s teams. The blue and red dots throughout the design represents the players. Every player that has played for the team should feel represented within this jumper.”

Number 7

Westmeadows Tigers

Designed by Tymia Councillor, a proud Yamitji Nyoongar Banjima woman and artist from Western Australia.

Via Westmeadows FC on Instagram:

“Ethan Councillor is my brother & asked me to design a jumper for the Westmeadows Tigers for the Indigenous round. I decided to design a jumper to tell his story about his journey in football so far. Therefore the hand represents him & his connection to the clubs he has played for so far. Each of the larger circles, which symbolise meeting or gathering places, represent each state Ethan has played AFL in, being WA, SA, Vic & the NT. The smaller circles symbolise the people & friends he has made along the way. All combining to eventually celebrate his journey which has ultimately led him to where he is now, as number 25 with the Tigers which is where & who is represented by the symbol on the back of the jumper.”

Number 8

Balnarring Junior Football Club

Designed by a local Wathawurrung Indigenous artist.

Via Balnarring JFC on Facebook:

“Balnarring Junior Football Club engaged a local Wathawurrung Indigenous artist to design artwork to represent our club as a family & community. We imposed the Indigenous artwork into our playing jumper design, to connect them together. This painting represents the journey & community of the Balnarring Junior Football Club, its players, and their families. It symbolises the dedication and commitment the club has for its players, and the players to their club. The circles represent the different football game locations, whilst the lines represent the journey undertaken by the players and their families, & the dots represent the players.”

Number 9

Portland Tigers

Designed by Sage Bell.

Via Justin Impey on Facebook:

“Portland Football Netball Football club have an amazing jumper designed by local Indigenous girl Sage Bell. Every team including netball wear them with pride.”

Number 10

Russells Creek

Designed by 14 year old Kobi Chatfield, who grew up in Framlingham, 15km outside Warrnambool.

Via Russell Creek on Facebook:

“The message behind his design of Russells Creek first-ever Indigenous jumper is simple: ‘Everyone coming together to play and watch a game of football and netball’. I guess that's the story in Warrnambool, everyone knows each other, it's a small town," Kobi said of his design.

"And everyone comes up to the meeting place where we are today at the Mack Oval." Kobi also incorporated the Hopkins River into the artwork through the Creekers' Blue V. It's the Mouth, where obviously the eel story, it goes all the eels came to migrate out to sea," Danny explained. "For us as Aboriginal First Nation people it was a fairly significant spot. All our elders talk about it so it's something we'll continue to talk about.

Number 11

East Point Dragons Female Football Club – winning design (see above)

Number 12

Gisborne Giants

Via Brendan du Kamp on Facebook:

“Gisborne Giants Football Netball Club excited to be hosting our Inaugural Indigenous Round next weekend for our senior & junior netball & football teams. The Indigenous Design is called Mundanai (Moon-Done-Eye) which translates to Embrace in Wurundjeri.”