Sunshine Coast Lightning will take to the court in uniforms created by local Traditional Owner (Kabi Kabi) artist Lyndon Davis for tomorrow’s Suncorp Super Netball league’s Indigenous Round clash with Collingwood Magpies at USC Stadium.
Indigenous Round aims to celebrate First Nations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) culture within the sport and highlight the importance of participation and involvement out in the local communities.
Lightning has partnered with Sunshine Coast Council’s First Nations Team, for the second year running, to deliver community activation for the Indigenous Round. Council is implementing its second Reconciliation Action Plan which aims to support opportunities for the Traditional Owners (Kabi Kabi and Jinibara) and the broader First Nations community of the Sunshine Coast through economic and community development opportunities.
Local Traditional Owner (Kabi Kabi) artist Lyndon Davis supplied the artwork for the Lightning’s Indigenous Round dress. Community and locality underpin Lyndon’s artwork, which incorporates Bunya Geometry – a symbol that has an intrinsic connection to the Sunshine Coast and Kabi Kabi people.
The design is an extension on last year’s dress which focused on the local sacred Bunya tree – this year the artwork includes more detail on the Bunya fruit and seeds.
“The history of the Bunya is what brought people together… one of the biggest land gatherings in the world took place in the Maleny, Mapleton, Montville, Blackall ranges,” Lyndon said.
“The people that lived here before us had an affinity for the Bunya, it sustained their lifestyle for countless generations.
“The placings of the Bunya on the dress and the symbols around the Bunya fruit represent the netball positions.
“It’s connection to country, custodianship, community… it’s all those things that the pattern signifies, harmony, coming together,” Lyndon said.
Lightning player Cara Koenen considers Indigenous Round particularly significant, and has seen first-hand how culture and sport are linked to inclusivity.
“Lyndon came into training and told us the story behind the design and what each element represents so this is definitely a special week for us,” Koenen said.
Through its Community Grants program Council funded REFOCUS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation to deliver community activation for the Indigenous Round including a Reconciliation Week Netball Clinic for local, First Nations children and First Nations experiences in the “Strike Zone” on match day. The match day experiences will include Traditional Indigenous Games demonstrations, Welcome to Country and dance performances by Gubbi Gubbbi Dance and the Jinibara dancers and more.
Pre-game entertainment kicks off at 2pm followed by the game at 3pm.