Following on from the success of Suncorp Super Netball’s inaugural Indigenous Round in 2018, this year’s dedicated indigenous dress for the Melbourne Vixens will showcase the talents of young Wurundjeri Dja Dja girl, Ky-ya Nicholson-Ward, and her commitment to creating positivity around aboriginal awareness.
“For me, designing this dress is helping showcase aboriginal culture in a positive through the community,” Ky-ya said.
“A lot of the time indigenous culture is portrayed as violent and negative, so to put Indigenous culture in a mainstream sport and showcase it in that way is really important. It’s an educational process.”
“To work with the players and the wider community on this dress, it’s helping people learn about indigenous culture and hopefully more indigenous players come through the process of netball and feel culturally safe”.
Ky-ya was approached to design the 2019 dress through her involvement with Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI), a program that supports and incubates leadership and employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Ky-ya’s design for the dress follows the key themes of strength and unity, with designs on the dress incorporating different symbols, all which share a meaning in line with the Vixens’ values.
“In Victoria we have a completely different style to the tokenistic aboriginal artwork that you see. We have more carvings, lines and circles in the artwork,” Ky-ya said.
Netball Victoria and the Melbourne Vixens value the relationship and guidance KGI provides with indigenous netball programs.