The Melbourne Vixens will this weekend wear an indigenous playing dress designed by Gunditjmara, Yorta Yourta, Dja Dja Warrun and Bunitji woman, Nakia Cadd as part of Suncorp Super Netball’s inaugural Indigenous Round.
The dress, using the Vixens’ clash dress colour of teal, includes three elements designed by Nakia in consultation with the Vixens athletes to reflect the values of the playing squad as well as stories told by Nakia’s ancestors.
Nakia was approached by Netball Victoria to design the Vixens’ inaugural indigenous dress as a program alumni of Richmond Football Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI).
“The process started after an opportunity I was given through the KGI, where I was approached by Netball Victoria and Melbourne Vixens to design the dress,” said Nakia.
“I spoke to my nans and mum about possible themes and ideas, cultural appropriation and symbols; and that’s where we came to agree that ‘strong women’ was a theme that represented the Melbourne Vixens.
“I think it’s a great privilege to be able to design the first ever Melbourne Vixens Indigenous dress. We still need to come a long way in terms of acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this country, but I think it’s a step in the right direction in acknowledging and presenting our culture and doing that in such a respectful way.
“Also, for me just being a role model for my son so he can look back at the dress and say, ‘my mum did that’ and have a sense of pride.”
The Melbourne Vixens were presented with their dresses by Nakia at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on Wednesday night. They will wear the dresses in their Round 10 game against Queensland Firebirds on the Gold Coast.
The Korin Gamadji Institute has partnered with Netball Victoria on the Lagunta Sister’s Program since 2015, delivering a netball program to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school girls to develop talent and industry pathways while strengthening connection to culture, and career and education opportunities. The Lagunta Sisters have competed in the 15/U and 17/U VACSAL State Football Netball Carnival for the last three years, winning the 17/U competition last year. The KGI are committed to the program to support Aboriginal women in netball and industry pathways.