‘The inaugural Indigenous Round jersey design draws upon local cultural elements to create a design that breaks the stereotypes of Aboriginal cultural expression while embodying the essence of local Koorie culture of the South East of Australia. Significantly, the design seeks to be unapologetically contemporary, evoking all that Camberwell Grammar represents while making a bold statement of reconciliation through a unique sports jersey design.

The striking diamond shape reflects the symbolism of the ‘scar tree’. Scar trees are reflective of the Koorie cultural practices of conservation and sustainability. The bark of scar trees was often carved out in a diamond-like shape and used to make canoes, shields, shelters and other artefacts. This practice embodied the value of conservation in Indigenous practice by only using the bark needed, while not cutting down the tree, sustaining both the local tribes or Nations and the surrounding environment. 

Scar trees were abundant throughout Victoria and New South Wales, with one of the most iconic being the scar tree located near the MCG, reinforcing a strong and continuous connection to Wurundjeri Country. The scar tree, symbolically holds a local significance to Wurundjeri people, as an enduring living culture, connected to the land on which Camberwell Grammar School is located. 

The scar tree also holds both a personal connection as well as a link to the Koorie community of Melbourne. In the heart of the original Koorie Heritage Trust building lay a scar tree, as a signifier of community strength. My design was in part inspired by the carvings within scar trees (dendroglyphs), found in scar trees particularly evident on Kamilaroi Country, where my paternal heritage originates. 

The shield motif seen in dendroglyph patterns, that are expressed throughout the jersey, takes cultural and contemporary inspiration from the linear style of Victorian Aboriginal art and practice. Indigenous art is often portrayed and stereotyped as only expressed through dot paintings, a beautiful style of art with origins in Central desert Country, within Northern Territory and Western Australia. However, the style of Indigenous art in Victoria often takes a linear form, seen through carved shields, paintings and the modern works by Koorie artists and designers such as Reko Rennie, Brook Andrew and Marcus Lee. The use of local Indigenous design embedded throughout the jersey promotes and celebrates the diversity of Indigenous cultures across Australia and provides a contemporary flavour to the design approach, while subtly paying homage to ‘op art’ creating movement and dynamism as a sportsperson is in motion. 

The design takes the blues of the school colours to create a strong and striking motif, that moves towards the viewer. The bold blues in the centre reflect the patterns of cultural and contemporary Indigenous art and stitches together the elements of local Indigenous culture with the branding of Camberwell Grammar to create a progressive and authentic design that embraces the spirit of reconciliation and promotes the diversity of culture within our wider community.’