Warrandyte Football Club recently unveiled its inaugural Indigenous Jumper, as the club plans to honour its indigenous players when they host Ferntree Gully at home on July 9, the final day of 2022 NAIDOC Week.
The Warrandyte jumper, designed by artist Mervyn Street, is based off the story of Warrandyte Vice-Captain’s Nikoda Brooking’s heritage.
Nikoda, who is a Bunuba and Gooniyandi man, helped Mervyn – his uncle – with the design, which includes two rivers, being the Fitzroy River (big river) from Bunuba country and Margaret River (small river) from Gooniyandi country.
The Eagle (Warrana) is a Cultural symbol of strength, courage, and bravery and in many Bunuba stories he is the Man who takes no prisoners and is fiercely independent.
Warrandyte has a rich indigenous history, sitting along the Yarra River and in one Wurundjeri dreamtime story which tells of a great eagle; ‘the all-powerful, ever watchful creator of the world’, Bunjil who once gazed down upon his people from the star Altair and saw their wrongdoing.
Awaiting their return, with a mighty crash of thunder, he hurled down a star to destroy them and where the star struck a gorge was created in which much of Warrandyte is now located. Bunjil’s people remembered the spot and referred to it as Warrandyte which is speculated to mean, ‘that which is thrown.’
All three of Warrandyte’s senior teams will wear the jumper for their clash with Ferntree Gully.