The First Nation Games played each year within the Suncorp Super Netball season, mark the cultural importance of our first nations. Designed to remind us of our cultural history, while helping to inspire emerging indigenous athletes along the pathway to success.
In 2022, the NSW Swifts commissioned local artist Tarsha Hawley – a passionate and proud Wongaibon woman, to create an indigenous design for their game dress and team merchandise. Tarsha Hawley is a member of the QBE Swifts Academy and has worked with the Swifts on creating unique and individual designs for their Indigenous rounds in both 2021 and 2022. Her 2022 artwork depicts a strong cultural theme, utilising traditional elements and symbols to express the meaning behind it.
With the artwork complete, Valour Sport worked closely with the Swifts to design and manufacture the Indigenous Range of apparel for the players and supporters. Key to the brief was that the garment designs highlight the original artwork, while providing superior performance dresses for the players and comfortable, long lasting garments for supporters. Preserving design integrity was essential, so the garments are made with bright vivid colours designed not to fade upon washing. In additional to the Indigenous artwork, Valour have maintained the traditional elements of the Swifts branding throughout the range.
View the Swifts Indigenous Range.
The story behind the 2022 Swifts Indigenous Design:
Significance of Women.
Traditionally used as an Aboriginal carrying vessel by women, Coolamons can be used for many purposes including gathering food, carrying water, to hold their babies and more. The Coolamons in the centre of the design are a representation of powerful women and their roles and responsibilities. A symbol to reflect how we understand and take ownership of the roles we play. The circles surrounding the Coolamons symbolise how women maintain life and functionality in the village.
The red dots and blue wavy line around the gum leaves represent smoking ceremonies that are performed to heal and cleanse, creating a connection to the traditional elders past and present. The gum leaves and river signify Hawley’s home town of Nyngan, while imploring us to protect our land, plants, animals and waterways. The Footprints along the river represent the journey across the land and sea. They are also a reflection of past, present and emerging players and coaching staff of the Swifts. The symbols on the outer circle signify strong family values.
Used within the design the rainbow serpent represents a protector for the Swifts community, while the goanna symbolises finding your strength both physically and emotionally. The turtle is a symbol of patience and perseverance including finding ways to move forward during heavier times. The turtle is symbolic of all the work it takes as an athlete from youth to adult.
In addition to the symbols used throughout the design, the bright colours are representative of the bright future for Netball Australia along with current and emerging Swifts.