For the eighth consecutive year, Richmond will wear an Indigenous-inspired jumper for the annual Dreamtime at the 'G clash, this Saturday night against Essendon, the centrepiece of the AFL's Sir Doug Nicholls round.
This year’s artist, Robert Young, a Gunnai and Waradjurie man says the design represents strength and connectedness.
“The design symbolises the intricacies of our Indigenous culture, and how we use our artwork, song and dance to be powerful, strong and bold,” Young said.
“But it’s when we look deeper, and see all of those elements and our family, culture, land, and spirit all moving together as one, you see the true beauty of our people.”
The yellow background symbolises the ground carvings of borra grounds, which are the grounds of initiation.
A spear runs across the front of the jumper where the ‘sash’ usually sits, and also a shield on the back of the jumper.
Young says the shield is our greatest weapon, as it not only provides protection for the warrior, but also represents those they are protecting.
“The markings that run through this shield move together as one, but represent many journeys - the journeys of each person on this team, the journeys of each person of this country. It’s when they move together as one that the shield finds it strength,” Young said.
The spear element on the front of the jumper is a representation of the relentless spirit that resides in all of us, helping us to overcome the hardships and challenges in our lives.
“We stand with resolve that no matter how many times we get knocked down, no matter how great the obstacles that lay before us, no matter the fear, the doubt, or the worry, we will get up time and time again, and we will feel the roar of our relentless spirit.”
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said he was proud to have Young’s design on the Tigers jumper.
“We thank Robert for his work in developing our Dreamtime jumper for this season. It is a wonderful design with an important and meaningful story attached to it,” Gale said.
“We are proud of the fact we were the first Club to adapt our jumper to incorporate Indigenous art. It is both a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and importantly a reflection of our commitment as a Club.”
As in previous years, the Dreamtime guernsey is available for purchase in-store and online at the Tigerland Superstore, along with a Dreamtime cap, scarf, and pin.
Proceeds from the Dreamtime guernsey and clothing range will support the Korin Gamadji Institute, to further strengthen its programming to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. Click here to purchase.
About the artist:
Robert Young is a 28-year-old Gunnai and Waradjurie man living in Warrandyte, Victoria.
Young has grown up around the arts, his mother and uncles are artists and performers, and Young himself studied Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts. In recent years Young has grown into a prominent contemporary Indigenous artist in Australia.
He has created several Reconciliation Action Plan artworks, a large inner city mural on Charcoal Lane Restaurant in Fitzroy (formally the Victorian Aboriginal Health Services.) Young is also a mentor, and does cultural presentations and workshops in schools and businesses around Australia.
Young’s artistic inspiration comes from his culture, family, nature, and his own internal creativity that has been formed from his life experience.
Through his art, Young seeks to empower other young Indigenous men and women, and also educate people on Indigenous culture, history and spiritualty. He hopes to support the next generation of Indigenous people to develop a strong identity of self, culture, community and social justice.