Inaugural Indigenous Round

Netball NSW is delighted to announce that the second State Derby of the 2018 season between GIANTS Netball and NSW Swifts will form part of Suncorp Super Netball’s Indigenous Round, in alignment with NAIDOC Week.

The theme of NAIDOC Week is ‘Because of Her, We Can’, which celebrates the essential role that women have played – and continue to play – as active and significant role models at the community, local, state and national levels across the country. The Suncorp Super Netball Indigenous Round will recognise the valued contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made, and continue to make, to the sport and the wider community.

To acknowledge the importance of the round, both Netball NSW teams will don specially designed Indigenous Dresses for the Round 10 match, which takes place at Darling Harbour’s International Convention Centre on Sunday, 8 July (5pm).

The Derby, which is a home game for GIANTS Netball, will be the second meeting of the teams in 2018 after the NSW Swifts narrowly beat out GIANTS Netball 55-54 at Qudos Bank Arena in Round 3, in what was their first win against their cross-state rivals.

Round 10 will be the first time the GIANTS and Swifts have donned Indigenous Dresses. That Super Netball’s Indigenous Round happens to coincide with the second NSW Derby of the year makes it even more special.

The design of the GIANTS Netball dress is one that echoes the important place that community and family have in the team culture. Coming up through the Netball NSW pathways, 16 year old Krystal Dallinger – who is of the Kamilaroi Nation of Walgett, Lightening Ridge & Angledool in Western NSW – was mentored by GIANTS Netball defender Sam Poolman. She gifted Poolman a hat that she had decorated with Indigenous designs as a gesture of thanks. As it was so meaningful and personal a moment, the GIANTS team then surprised Dallinger with an invitation for her to design their Indigenous Round dress.

The artwork reflects the connection that we share and celebrates people coming together as one team under one sky. Each element tells an important part of the story: There are the rivers that are linked by waterholes, showing that everyone is connected by one seamless thing; there are the stars under which we all live; the turtles are not only the coast and the ocean life, but they also signify the artist following in her family’s footsteps; while the goanna is Dallinger’s personal totem and represents where she is from.

The NSW Swifts dress was designed by renowned Indigenous artist Dennis Golding, a descendant of the Kamilaroi/Gamillaraay people from the North West of NSW. Golding is no stranger to designing jerseys that connect Australian sport and Indigenous culture. He was the artist behind the first ever Indigenous jersey to be worn by an Australian national team when the Wallabies proudly sported his design in their third Bledisloe Cup Test against the All Blacks in October 2017.

The artwork of the NSW Swifts dress acknowledges and represents the local Aboriginal lands on which the NSW Swifts work, travel and play and includes lands of the Gadigal, Wangal and Tharawal language groups. The circular imagery that references meeting place highlights the continuing practices of ceremonies and events that bring people together to share and learn from one another.

“It is a privilege for GIANTS Netball to be able to honour and acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities during the Suncorp Super Netball Indigenous Round and it is an apt start to NAIDOC Week for Netball NSW,” said Michael Anderson, General Manager of GIANTS Netball and COO of Netball NSW.

“The impact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players and participants is an important and integral part of the past, present and future of netball in this country. When we take to the court on 8 July, we will be acknowledging their hard work, passion and dedication to the sport and celebrating the inclusive future we are building together.

“It is especially meaningful to us to have the first Indigenous Australian Diamond, Marcia Ella-Duncan OAM, be involved in our celebrations. We are privileged to have her be such a significant part of our Indigenous Round game and appreciate her support.

“The GIANTS Netball Indigenous Round uniform has a special significance for the team, having been designed by a young Indigenous player currently in the Netball NSW pathways who is mentored by one of our players. Family and community is so central to the GIANTS Netball values and our GIANTS Netball players will be taking to the court in a uniform that means so much to them, which they will be wearing with pride.

“The second NSW Derby will also be the first time that netball is played at the International Convention Centre and it is fitting that the best players in the state will be the first netballers to play there.”

Nikki Horton, General Manager of NSW Swifts and Head of Netball at Netball NSW, echoed Anderson’s sentiments.

“I know that all of our players are really stoked to have the opportunity to wear a dress that highlights the inclusiveness of netball.

“It is not only the inclusive nature of the dress that makes them excited but the history and culture the design represents. Australia’s Indigenous people have one of the oldest and most fantastic cultures in the world, and nowhere is that more evident than in the beautiful state of New South Wales.

“The work and thought that has gone in to the Swifts’ Indigenous Dress for the NSW Derby is something we are very proud of and I know the GIANTS have done a huge amount of work at their end to.

“How amazing is it that we get to play each other in these wonderful dresses in the heart of Sydney? It promises to be a fantastic occasion and one that everyone across the NSW netball community should really be looking forward to.”

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