The artist responsible for the Indigenous All Stars’ eye-catching jersey design says a simple addition to this year’s ‘retro’ all-black version now covers all the bases in representing Indigenous culture.
Former NRL player Sid Domic, who came up with the original Indigenous jersey design in 2010 and was also the mastermind behind last year’s team shirts, said incorporating the traditional Dari headdress – used by people in the Torres Strait Islands for ceremonies and dancing – was important.
“I’ve tried to keep the story and the symbolism the same [as in the first two years] so we build that culture year after year and probably add a little bit to the story,” Domic told NRL.com ahead of Saturday night’s game.
“I’ve had a lot of comments over the last few years to implement the Dari headdress [for Torres Strait Islanders], so that’s why I brought that in this year.
“It is pretty much the same design, but it looks very different… I liked the first year with predominant black and I thought I’d like to try to bring it back.”
Domic revealed he was a bundle of nerves before the players gave his latest design the unanimous thumbs up.
“Until I know the players are happy it’s hard for me to relax,” he said.
Domic said the All Stars concept presented a unique opportunity for Indigenous youth to connect with their favourite rugby league players as role models.
“I’m in the position where I’m coaching the Queensland Indigenous Under-16s side this year and I know the NRL try their hardest to bring the boys together with these guys,” Domic said.
“They get to have lunches with them, they get to play an opposed game with them and it’s a fantastic thing to see how these boys’ faces light up when they are playing alongside their heroes.
“I think it’s great. All rugby league followers… we’ve got our team now, a team we can identify with and support. These are our young kids’ heroes and it’s fantastic the whole community is getting behind it.”