This weekend, the Deakin Melbourne Boomers will be celebrating Indigenous Round, with the WNBL using the 2021/22 season to launch the first dedicated league-wide events, which aims to recognise and celebrate Indigenous Australians and culture both within the WNBL and wider basketball community.
For the Boomers, the round has been brought to life in collaboration with Deakin University, and earlier this week the club unveiled their specially designed Indigenous jerseys that will be worn for the game.
The team are proud to be wearing the artwork, Moodoogorok, created by Melinda Kennedy.
Kennedy is a current NIKERI Institute mentor, Wadawurrung Traditional Owner, artist, and Co-Director Heritage Advisor at MURRI:YUL.
Her artwork depicts items important to Indigenous women of the Wadawurrung people whose land covers two Deakin Campuses. These items are:
Mookitj (Kangaroo apple):
This design narrative signifies a healing plant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. The flower, fruits and leaves change form and colour throughout the year, like women who change as they gain knowledge.
Kurrarra (Ballang/dilly bag) pattern:
The pattern depicting the weave of a dilly bag (used to carry various items needed in daily life), represents a woman’s strength and another person not ever knowing what they are carrying.
The design as a collective illustrates the importance of women in community and depict Moodoogorok – The wise leader woman.
“The Moodoogorok means the leader or the wise woman. So that’s the meaning of the top,” said Kennedy, when presenting the finished jerseys to the playing group and front office last week.
“I thought of a team and how in culture it’s so important. ..that we have not just one woman we have many from all ages and equally important in our culture.
For you to have that representation on your top to say I carry a lot of stuff, but hey I’m deadly as.”
“And I hope that you carry it proud and understand it’s more than just a top.”
The Boomers players can’t wait to wear the jersey in front of their home crowd this weekend and continue to integrate and celebrate Indigenous culture in their sport.
“We all love what it stands for – The Moodoogorok,” says Tess Madgen.
“It’s what we all aspire to be as Melbourne Boomers players and the Melbourne Boomers organisation.”
“It’s also amazing to wear the Ballang print, which takes up majority of the uniform and this is an Indigenous bag made by females, and it represents all the loads that females have to carry and all the different hats that we have to wear.”
“To be able to wear it for everyone, to be able to see it, it’s very inspiring.”
Team Captain, Cayla George, will be officially celebrating her 300th WNBL game in front of the home crowd but has also been heavily involved in the organising of Indigenous Round and is especially excited for this game.
“We are so grateful and blessed to be able to wear this, and we are really looking forward to the game.”
As the Boomers hit the court tomorrow on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong/Boon Wurrung country, you can look forward to special atmosphere with tunes playing, a Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Diane Kerr, and incredible artworks (which are for sale) on your way into the stadium by the incredible, The Torch project.
The Torch provides art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria through its Indigenous Arts in Prisons and Community program.
Please help us paint a brighter future for our participants and the community by purchasing artworks from The Torch or making a donation.
The Torch takes no commission on artwork sales. 100% of the artwork price, not including delivery and canvas stretching costs, goes directly to the artist.
We will also need your support more than ever to clinch the second spot on the ladder to secure home finals – plus, you don’t want to miss but Guy’s last regular season home game with the Boomers and celebrations for Cayla’s 300th WNBL game.
We look forward to seeing you there for what has shaped up to be a cracker of a game!