Wildcats uniforms to feature permanent Indigenous markings
In a landmark move for the Perth Wildcats, the club’s 2021/22 home and away playing uniforms will proudly feature permanent Indigenous markings for the first time.
The design was revealed this morning, with Indigenous artwork by Balladung and Wadjuk representative Barry McGuire taking pride-of-place.
“When I heard the Wildcats wanted to incorporate Indigenous markings on their everyday jersey, I was overwhelmed,” said Mr McGuire.
He described the importance of the markings.
“Wherever you go, our West Australian markings are there protecting our brothers and our sisters as they travel. Protection is a very important thing and no matter where we go as Aboriginal people, we look for that safety, we look for that protection between the nations we have on this continent,” he said.
“To see that living on the Wildcats jersey every day, I’m so honoured to be able to bring forth this marking of old to sit on something new, to protect our Wildcats.”
Set on a backdrop which, upon first glance, is consistent with the look and feel which has brought the club so much success over the last decade, is Indigenous art specific to the land in which the Perth Wildcats call home.
The background texture replicates the unique markings found on the woornda bahrraan, the shields, of the Wadjuk people.
Shield markings are particular to each country or people. It’s the ultimate marking of protection, reflecting between people and the spiritual vibration of the land.
The black and red sleeve trim portrays reflections and markings from ancient message sticks that have been a part of the artist’s family connection for thousands of years.
They represent travel from waterhole to waterhole, guided by song and the vibration of protection.
Message sticks were carried by runners for long distances, for example, from Geraldton to Esperance, to Albany, and back around, so people from different nations could come together for a major ceremony.
And finally, the word Wadjuk is sublimated on the inside of the collar.
Wadjuk is one of the 14 different clan groups within the Noongar nation, which is located in the South West corner of Western Australia – where the Wildcats call home.
“These old markings included in the uniform say, ‘We’re from the west, we’re from Noongar country, we’re from Wadjuk land.’ That’s a beautiful thing. It will be very honourable to the rest of our communities to see what the Wildcats have done, what we have shared and the way we’ve come together.”
Above: Luke Travers models the home and away 2021/22 Perth Wildcats uniform at the Rockingham Salt Lakes.
Perth Wildcats CEO Troy Georgiu said the decision to include Indigenous artwork on playing uniforms on a full-time basis is another step in the organisation’s journey of reconciliation.
“We are overwhelmingly proud to be continuing our recognition and celebration of Indigenous peoples’ contribution to our state and our game in a meaningful, long-term capacity,” he said.
“I know our players will feel a sense of pride wearing unforms featuring timeless markings which connect them to the people and the place we call home, and I’m confident our fans will feel the same way.”
Perth Wildcats home uniforms are available now via Catsgear and at the Perth Wildcats Team Store.
Cover photo: Balladung and Wadjuk representative Barry McGuire holds the 2021/22 Perth Wildcats home jersey