The Australian Women’s Cricket Team will wear an Aboriginal designed uniform when they take on England in a T20 international on 1 February 2020 on Ngunnawal Country, at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
A collaborative project between Cricket Australia, Aboriginal artists Aunty Fiona Clarke and Courtney Hagen and Cricket Australia’s official apparel partner ASICS, the uniform pays homage to the 1868 Aboriginal cricket team and symbolises Australian Cricket’s commitment to reconciliation.
The uniform will feature two sides: the front featuring the Walkabout Wickets logo representing past, present and future Aboriginal cricketers and the back of the strip illustrates women as warriors possessing strength and intelligence whilst standing with each other.
Muruwari woman and Australian cricketer, Ashleigh Gardner said:
“I’m very proud of my Aboriginal heritage and to be able to represent my country and culture in this way is a significant moment for me the women’s team.
“As part of the touring party that celebrated the 150th anniversary of the 1868 Aboriginal team to tour England, I realise how powerful valuing culture through symbols like uniforms can be about telling stories and raising awareness.
“My hope is that this match and these uniforms play a part in starting conversations, promoting awareness and encouraging us all to learn more.”
Butchulla woman and Cricket Australia’s Indigenous Engagement Specialist and uniform artwork collaborator, Courtney Hagen said:
“The Walkabout Wickets artwork designed by Kirrae Whurrong woman and great, great granddaughter of a member of the 1868 Aboriginal team, Aunty Fiona Clarke is now synonymous with providing a connection between cricket and country.
“It is a strong demonstration of respect and an acknowledgement to Australia’s First Nations peoples and connection to the 1868 Aboriginal Team who toured England.
“On the front of the playing strip is the Walkabout Wickets logo. The large circle represents Lords, the smaller circles signifying the teams’ various meeting places and the wickets with no bails convey the game’s continual forward motion. The stumps flying represent Aboriginal cricketers beating England at their own game.
“The yellow-orange-ochre transition symbolises the connection to country and being grounded, with multiple representations of stars illustrate the 1868 Aboriginal team that toured England who provide guidance and are now living in the stars.
“The belt wraparound of the uniform demonstrates the years of the 1868 team’s journey, the story-telling of their descendants and families which has kept the story of Walkabout Wickets going for the last 150 years and the strength and resilience this team and culture has repeatedly displayed over the last 65,000 years.
“The back of the uniform represents the women’s camp, depicting cricketing warriors with strength, intelligence and support for each other.”
ASICS Australia’s Managing Director, Mark Brunton said:
“ASICS are proud to have worked on this unique design with Cricket Australia and we look forward to seeing the women’s team take the field on 1 February wearing the distinctive new kit.”
The T20 International fixture between Australian and England on 1 February 2020 in Canberra will form part of an inaugural ‘Reconciliation Round’ where all community, club and Premier Cricket teams will be encouraged to celebrate and learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture and show their commitment to reconciliation.
Before each game, both teams will form a barefoot huddle as mark of respect in connecting to country and demonstrate Australian Cricket’s commitment to reconciliation. The huddle will be the one consistent act that Cricket Australia will encourage clubs right across Australia to participate in.
Cricket Australia will soon launch its second Reconciliation Action Plan which will have a list of approximately 100 commitments that the organisation will aim to achieve over the next three years.