Queensland Rugby Union launches 13th annual Indigenous Round

Mon, May 20, 2024, 11:19 PM
by Queensland Rugby Media Unit

This week marks the Queensland Rugby Union’s 13th annual Indigenous Round with the Queensland Reds hosting the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The Reds will wear their specially-created Indigenous jersey as designed by young artists Naomi Buchanan and Lakciarna Fisher in collaboration with Canterbury of New Zealand.

The Indigenous teenagers were studying at The Glennie School in Toowoomba last year when their eye-catching design was selected from a host of contenders.

Naomi is a proud Wadja Wadja and Butchulla woman and Lakciarna is a proud Wakka Wakka woman.

The meaning behind the jersey design pulls together powerful themes for Queensland Rugby.

The central pattern represents the Queensland Reds as a community gathered together while the footprints represent people coming together from all over Queensland.

The variety of red colours showcases the diversity of people walking their unique path.

The spaces in between the pathways are the various important parts which make-up one beautiful State…the beaches (saltwater), tropics, agricultural areas, the Outback, animal tracks and the freshwater which runs through Queensland connecting us.

Queensland Rugby Union Indigenous Strategies Manager Dylan Blackman said Indigenous Round was always a special week.

“It’s an opportunity for the game to walk together alongside our Indigenous community and celebrate the unique relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples and Rugby Union,” Blackman said.

“Naomi and Lakciarna have done a wonderful job in designing the Indigenous jersey.

“Naomi has now finished Year 12 and is studying for a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art.

“We have an increase in the number of Indigenous players in Queensland’s rugby pathways from sevens to Super Rugby Women’s to the Queensland Reds squad.”

From teenager Rhani Hagan in the women’s sevens to Lori Cramer and Madi Schuck in the Reds women’s team to Wallace Charlie in the Queensland Under-18s, role models for emerging Indigenous players are excelling.

In Saturday night’s match, the Frank Ivory Medal will again be awarded to the Man of the Match to honour the first Indigenous player to represent Queensland in rugby in 1893.

It is 30 years since Indigenous winger Barry Lea scored Queensland’s first try in the epic 1994 Super 10 final triumph over Natal in Durban.

Only last weekend in Suva, Indigenous winger Floyd Aubrey scored his first try for the Reds in his first run on-role.

The list of Indigenous players to represent Queensland is a short yet impressive one which Blackman wants to see growing in the years to come.