The South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) has launched its new Indigenous-themed guernsey to be worn at the 2023 AFL Victoria Metro Junior Development Series.
Designed by current East Brighton Vampires player PJ Martin, who is from Northern Territory, Tiwi Islands, Bathurst Island Wurrumiyanga and Bulman/Weemol Community Central Arnhem Land.
“(The) Water Monitor, is my dreaming in Arnhem Land” explains PJ when asked about her design.
“The butterfly is my totem, it is connected to the caterpillar and if someone or an animal step on a caterpillar, me and my relatives who share the same totem would develop a blind boil anywhere on our body.”
With a clear passion for Australian Football, PJ herself is a former representative of the SMJFL at the Metro Junior Development Series and is also a current member of the Sandringham Dragons and Vic Metro squads, with ambitions to play AFLW.
“I grew up loving footy because my whole family from both sides support the AFL and my grandfather, my mum’s dad used to be a star footballer in the Tiwi Islands Football League,” said PJ.
“I know he would be so proud of what I have achieved so far with my footy career.”
Jade Kennedy, an emerging artist of Tatti-Tatti heritage from the Wadjak clan helped bring PJ’s design to life by transforming her vision into the guernsey, featuring traditional painting which carries a heavy meaning.
Jade also designed the St. Kilda Football Club’s 2023 Indigenous guernsey.
The launch of this guernsey is a feature of the SMJFL’s journey toward reconciliation, through its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
The AFL Victoria Metro Junior Development Series kicks off tomorrow night (Wednesday 31 May), click here to view fixtures.