THE TRADITIONAL Navy Blue strip has once again been transformed to recognise Indigenous heritage and culture, with this year’s guernsey designed by proud Gunditjmara woman and Melbourne artist Laura Thompson.

With Sir Doug Nicholls Round to run over two weeks this year, the Blues will wear the guernsey against the Swans at the SCG in the Marngrook Game and then in front of the Navy Blue faithful at the MCG the following week against West Coast.

The guernsey was also launched with the help of Carlton champion and two-time Premiership player Syd Jackson.

Created in consultation with Carlton’s seven current Indigenous players; Eddie Betts, Liam Jones, Jack Martin, Zac Williams, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Madison Prespakis and Natalie Plane, the guernsey depicts each of their mob names, celebrating and paying tribute by highlighting the diverse Aboriginal cultures among them and honouring their cultural identities, families and the Country to which they belong.

The campfires that feature on the shoulders of the jumper are a tribute to the entire Carlton family, signifying the broader playing group, staff, members and supporters all uniting together and proud to be part of the Navy Blue.

This guernsey also pays respect to the Traditional Custodians of the land on which the Carlton Football Club is located, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. 

To signify Wurundjeri Country, along the sides of the jumper is a design representative of the Yarra River, also known as Birrarung, which has great cultural and spiritual relevance to the Wurundjeri people and the neighbouring nations.

Carlton leader and proud Kija man Liam Jones said he was privileged to be involved in the design of the guernsey.

“It was a real honour to work with Laura and our six other Indigenous players to create this year’s guernsey, which we all feel a very strong connection to,” Jones said.

“To have been involved in the design process and have the guernsey be representative of who we are and where we have come from is very special.

“Sir Doug Nicholls Round provides the opportunity for all players, clubs and their members and supporters to acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, so it was important for us that the guernsey not only represented each of us Indigenous players, but our whole playing group, staff and all Carlton people.”

The 2021 Sir Doug Nicholls Round will see an alignment with the Racism. It Stops With Me campaign – a national campaign that provides tools and resources to help people and organisations promote racial equality, while tying in with and raising awareness of the National Reconciliation Week theme "More than a word. Reconciliation takes action".

Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps affirmed the Club’s strong stance against racism and the significance in taking action to stamp out such behaviour.

“Sir Doug Nicholls Round is a round to celebrate our Indigenous players, how much they and their culture mean to our game and more broadly their significance on the impact of our history at the football club,” Cripps said.

“It is also a time for us non-Indigenous people in the game to stand alongside our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters and speak as one voice to help in their fight against racism.

“To be honest it’s a fight that should not be happening in current society. Sadly, it still is, which is why we won’t stop doing everything we can to stamp out such behaviour and make sure that racism does in fact stop with us.”

All match-worn and player-issued guernseys will be available for auction on the official Carlton auction site.

The proceeds from the auction will go towards the Clothing the Gaps Foundation and the Club’s Indigenous programs and Reconciliation Action Plan implementation.

You can also purchase your very own 2021 PUMA Indigenous guernsey from The Carlton Shop. Get in quick before they sell out!

The Blues would also like to thank ADCO Constructions for supporting the Club in its Indigenous advocacy, education and awareness raising activities.

Player                          Country

Eddie Betts                   Wirangu/Kokatha/Guburn

Liam Jones                    Kija

Madison Prespakis        Dja Dja Wurrung

Natalie Plane                Kamilaroi 

Jack Martin                   Yawuru

Zac Williams                  Wiradjuri

Sam Petrevski-Seton      Kija/Banuba