St.George Queensland Reds captain James Horwill and twins Anthony and Saia Faingaa today unveiled Queensland Rugby’s first Indigenous Round jerseys which will be worn by the team on Friday night against the Highlanders at Suncorp Stadium.
Queensland Rugby has dedicated the July 6 match, which falls during national NAIDOC week festivities, as their inaugural Indigenous Round to provide an opportunity for the Reds Rugby community to celebrate Australia’s Indigenous culture and heritage.
As part of the celebrations, the Reds will wear Aboriginal art printed jerseys designed by renowned artist Stephen Hogarth, which will be individually signed and then auctioned to raise funds for the Queensland Reds Indigenous Program.
Bidding commences tomorrow Tuesday 3 July at 12:00pm will run for a period of seven days.
To bid visit http://www.redsrugby.com.au/GrassrootsRugby/Indigenous.aspx.
“Friday night will be a big occasion for the Reds with the importance of both the Indigenous Round and result against the Highlanders to make for a very special evening,” hooker Saia Faingaa said.
“There is a lot to play for and it’s humbling that this current squad of Reds have the opportunity to be involved in the very first Indigenous Round.”
Anthony Faingaa echoed his brother’s sentiments.
“Everyone was impressed with the jersey’s design when it was presented to us last week and we’re now looking forward to putting in a good performance to hopefully add even more value to the jerseys before the auction finishes next week,” Anthony Faingaa said.
“The Indigenous Round is a great initiative for everyone to celebrate the meaning behind NAIDOC week and we’re all proud to be involved in the match.
“I encourage everyone to get along to the game early and soak up all the festivities before what is an exciting opportunity for us to play in front of our home crowd for the first time in seven weeks.”
The title of the Hogarth’s jersey artwork is “You Belong” which refers to the Aboriginal belief that we belong to the land and sea, as well as to each other as a community.
The art tells the story of a strong, cohesive Indigenous community that values its youth and their future by developing strong leaders ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow.
“I am proud to link my artwork with this sporting event because I have seen that strong leaders need health and fitness in their lives,” Mr Hogarth said.
“In the same way, healthy communities can only be achieved by working together as team mates and making healthy lifestyle choices.
“Reconciliation is an important process for today’s generation. It enables us to work in our culturally diverse society and to respect people’s differences. Australia is a place where you belong.”
The striking jerseys are just one element to Friday night's Indigenous Round celebrations with a number of musical and dance performances being showcased in the Suncorp Stadium precinct prior to the game, and on the pitch before kickoff.
Tickets for the match can be purchased through Ticketek - http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=REDS2012.
Click here to read the full story behind the Indigenous Artwork.