Newcastle Knights 2021 Indigenous Jersey
The nib Newcastle Knights Indigenous Jersey is designed by talented local Aboriginal artist Tyler Smith.
A collaborative production, Knights NRL players Connor Watson, Edrick Lee and Gehamat Shibasaki also provided ideas and feedback towards the final design.
In creating a deeper bond to the region and its people, Smith enlisted the assistance of four young Indigenous detainees through his art program at Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre.
The design of the jersey represents the local landscape of Newcastle, the wider region and also incorporates the handprints of the three players.
This varied environment, from extensive forested areas to the south-west and north-west of the greater Newcastle area, to the beautiful coast and beaches that stretch from the Hawkesbury River to the Queensland border, are all a feature of the design. Central to the design is the implementation of three totems, representing players - Watson, Lee and Shibasaki.
It is common for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to associate themselves with a specific totem, usually an animal, plant or flower, representing who they are and the country they come from. The totems within the design are the Goanna (Watson), Turtle (Shibasaki) and Saltwater Crocodile (Lee).
On the back of the jersey, the player’s hands are imprinted over their totems as an indication of their responsibility to protect that animal and carry on these traditions for future generations. This is why these totems are also encapsulated within a circle at the centre of the design, representing a barrier from the weapons depicted on the outside.