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For Culture & Country: Unveiling the 2024 Indigenous Nationals Uniforms

The 2024 addition of Indigenous Nationals is just around the corner. A highlight throughout the weeklong event is the unveiling of each universities uniform and the story and meaning behind them.

Indigenous Uniform Designs (left to right): University of Western Sydney, Southern Cross University, La Trobe University


University of Western Sydney’s design was extracted from the institution wide artwork. “Those who came before us”, created in 2020 was co-facilitated by artist Allan McKenzie, a Wiradjuri-Gamilaroi man from Griffith NSW.

 

Early in 2021, after the COVID-19 hiatus, the final phase of the creation commenced. Importantly, all Indigenous students and staff made a visit to the Badanami Centre for Indigenous Education at Parramatta South Campus so that they could also contribute to the artwork.

 

“The artwork is a great piece in the displaying of reconciliation in practice”, says Josh Manson, director of Badanami Centre for Indigenous Education.

 

“Well over 120 staff and students, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, contributed to the painting of this piece of art”, he said.

 

The uniform design of Southern Cross University (SCU) was created by Sheldon ‘Sj’ Harrington. Where the design is symbolic of the origins of SCU and the country it sits on.

 

The blue dotted background represents the ocean. The ocean is the totem of Gumbaynggirr Country. The Ngumahl (goanna) represents the totem for Bundjalung Country.

 

La Trobe University’s (LTU), design “acknowledges those who have come before, those who are here now, and those yet to come”, says Sian Harris, 2024 uniform designer.

 

The work represents the local Mildura region. Mildura is a meeting place for many people, especially to the Mob from all over. Mildura is seen as a place of opportunity for many First Nations peoples.

 

“It symbolises the present, as well as the past and future,” says Sian.

 

The main feature for LTU is the river. To the First Nations people, the river means so much to the people who live here, while the circles represent the people who have a connection to this area: Those who are Custodians and those who have made their homes here.

 

The lines represent Ancient Songlines and the connection that all First Nations people have with one another. They represent the ways in which learning, and knowledge has been, and continues to be passed on and nurtured.

 

 

2024 Indigenous Nationals presented by bp is hosted by the University of Wollongong from June 23-27. All information for Indigenous Nationals can be found on https://www.unisport.com.au/indigenous-nationals

 

The 28th Indigenous Nationals organising committee respectfully acknowledges the traditional owners of the land of which the event will take place.  

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