The Melbourne Vixens have revealed the dress they will wear in Suncorp Super Netball’s Indigenous Round this weekend.
The Vixens, who will travel to Brisbane for their game against the Queensland Firebirds, worked closely with Indigenous artist, Ky-ya Nicholson-Ward, her mother Mandy Nicholson and apparel partner PUMA to create the dress.
Ky-ya, a 16-year-old Wurundjeri Dja Dja wurrung woman from Melbourne was selected as part of Netball Victoria’s partnership with the Korin Gamadji Institute - an educational and training facility that supports and incubates leadership and employment pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Ky-ya’s mother, Mandy is also an artist and together they share this passion for creativity and storytelling in Victorian Aboriginal artwork.
Through the creation of this dress, Ky-ya has helped showcase aboriginal culture and art in a positive way and has played a significant role in helping indigenous netballers feel proud of their culture.
The dress is titled Nallei jerring (coming together).
The dress features elements of Ky-ya’s ancestry that she has learnt from her mother and her experiences as a young aboriginal woman.
The Boorimul (emu) footprints walk over the shoulder and across the durrung (heart) of the Vixens. These 10 footprints represent each player and resemble coming together and going on a journey and path. The emu does not step backwards, it only looks forward into the future.
The passing on of knowledge from generation to generation holds importance for Ky-ya and her family, and this is illustrated in the middle panel of the dress. The horizontal lines are placed in a way to represent this passing on of ngagu (knowledge) from generations.
The side panel features circles, this symbolizes how culture has no beginning or end. It illustrates the ripple effect culture has on people and how one person can give so much knowledge to the people they meet.
The triangle lines featured on the bottom half of the dress represent balit (strength), standing by each other and unity. The strength of standing together is powerful and like the Vixens team, we are stronger together.