The Melbourne Vixens will pay tribute to netball in Victoria, through their 2021 Indigenous dress revealed today.
The dress has been designed by proud Yorta-Yorta woman from Mooroopna, Tammy-Lee Atkinson, in partnership with apparel partner Puma, and will be worn across the two weekends of Suncorp Super Netball’s Indigenous Round.
The overarching theme of the artwork resembles the Victorian netball community returning to the court in 2021, and the Vixens returning to Victoria for the Suncorp Super Netball season.
The waterways are connecting lakes, rivers or the ocean - depending on where you are in Victoria - and represent the connection of sport, family and coming together. These waterways meet at each of the four team values of the Melbourne Vixens.
Women can be seen around each value, representing the gathering of the team, coaches and support staff.
Linework is the traditional form of artwork for Tammy-Lee and can be seen at the bottom of the dress, representing the land that the Vixens play on.
The three circles on the side panels represent the rivers that connect to Echuca, where Tammy-Lee was born - the Campaspe River, Goulburn River and Murray River. These rivers also represent her siblings - three were born in Echuca, three in Kerang and three in Shepparton.
Tammy-Lee has been working as an artist for five years, starting her career with Kaiela Arts in Shepparton where she also delivers programs at Kaiela Arts including for youth, women, and children. She was thrilled to receive the call through Netball Victoria’s association with Rumbalara Football Netball Club.
“My art has been connecting with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities and I love the fact that I have been able to design the dress for the Melbourne Vixens, to me it has been an honour,” said Atkinson.
“My mum always supported me and told me since I started my art that it should go on a netball dress. She has always pushed me to believe my art needs to be on a dress.”
“To have Indigenous Round for sport in general is amazing and is a great opportunity to highlight Indigenous people. It’s amazing for netballers in Victoria to see and connect with the dress and highlight culture.”
Melbourne Vixens’ captain Kate Moloney said it was an honour to wear the dress to recognise Indigenous culture.
“To be able to wear this dress with Tammy-Lee's design is a privilege. Through the process with the playing group, she’s been able to bring to life the values of the Melbourne Vixens and netball in Victoria, while also acknowledging her culture and family,” said Moloney.
“Each year, we learn more about Indigenous culture and what we can do to recognise and appreciate the Traditional Owners of the land. We know it takes more than just one or two weekends of netball, so at the Vixens and Netball Victoria, we will continue to listen and educate ourselves to ensure no opportunity for development or inclusion is lost.”
The Melbourne Vixens will travel to Brisbane this weekend to take on the Firebirds in the first week of Suncorp Super Netball’s Indigenous Round. They will then host the Adelaide Thunderbirds at John Cain Arena next week under Saturday Night Lights with a smoking ceremony, Indigenous gift exchange and traditional dancers.
Tickets are available through Ticketek.
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