Adelaide will celebrate Torres Strait Islander culture when it proudly wears its 2021 Indigenous guernsey in this season’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
Designed by forward Ben Davis, the guernsey features a dhoeri, a traditional head dress which is a significant part of Torres Strait Islander culture, and represents Davis’ personal story of cultural discovery.
It also includes other Torres Strait Islander elements, including the Hammerhead shark, fish and spears, while the back displays a large turtle, which is the totem for the Torres Strait Island people.
The guernsey honours the country on which Adelaide plays and trains, with a Kaurna shield prominently displayed and connected to the dhoeri.
Davis said it would be a surreal feeling seeing his teammates wearing a guernsey which was a personal reflection of his connection to culture.
“I can’t even think about what it is going to feel like, but it will be a feeling that will stay with me for the rest of my life,” Davis said.
“The design symbolises me finding out a bit more about my culture, a bit more about myself and diving into things I didn’t think about too much before.
“Having this opportunity and being tied to the Club in this way forever will be something I can show my kids one day.
“It is one of the proudest moments of my life.”
To launch the guernsey, Davis stood alongside mentor Eddie Peters, a Torres Strait Islander musician, singer & songwriter.
The video is accompanied by the track ‘Stand Up’ by Thursday Island rapper Mau Power, featuring First Nations Australian performer and Butchulla Songman Fred Leone and produced by prolific Adelaide musician trials.
Adelaide will wear the Indigenous guernsey in its Round 12 Sir Doug Nicholls Round clash against Collingwood at Adelaide Oval.
The guernsey will be available for presale from 7pm Tuesday May 11 from CROWmania – shop.afc.com.au, in store at West Lakes or at the game at Adelaide Oval.
It will be available in store from Monday May 18.
The meaning behind the guernsey
Head dress - Worn for traditional dances, the dhoeri is a significant part of Torres Strait Islander culture as well as the integral story of culture between players, members, staff at the Adelaide Football Club.
All elements lead into the Head dress, which also represents Adelaide Oval and is where we display and proudly create Club culture.
The two ropes each side connected to the head dress represent the strength each Indigenous player on the list has with their connectedness to culture and this football Club.
Crow foot – this sits at the centre of the design and highlights the legacy of all players on the culture of the Club.
Hammerhead - In Torres Strait Islands, hammerhead sharks represents lore and order set by elders to help the community thrive.
Similarly, they mean past Crows players and the standards they have set to help the Club to thrive. Seen on the guernsey design, they are travelling together in a school (community, culture) towards our home at Adelaide Oval.
Fish - Represent the players, being led by the smaller, younger fish with the bigger, older fish behind them supporting and prioritising them by letting the younger fish be leaders and drive the culture of the Club as it continues on its new journey.
Spears - Represent everyone in the football Club, including players, coaches, staff, trainers and everyone in between who are working together building our culture to help guide the team and Club.
Each individual line on the spear represents the players on our playing list. The spears connected to the head dress wrap around the back of the guernsey and represent readiness for battle as the players enter Adelaide Oval.
Kaurna shield - Connects to the head dress to show respect that we are on Kaurna country.
Turtle – this is a totem for Torres Strait Islander people and as the main food source it looks after and protects them.
The hard back of the shell provides protection and strength and similarly, this acts as a shield for the players as they prepare to battle it out on the field. It also reinforces the resilience of the Adelaide Football Club.