Fremantle’s 2022 AFLW Indigenous Jumper has been unveiled, based on the Mikayla Morrison and Des Headland design that was also used for Fremantle’s 2021 AFL Indigenous Jumper.
Freo will wear the jumper in round eight against Adelaide, a top of the table clash that will be played at Fremantle Oval on Saturday 26 February.
Local Indigenous artist Kevin Bynder – an uncle to Morrison and cousin to Headland – worked with his family members to create the design last year, with the trio eager for the jumper to be worn by both the AFL and AFLW teams.
The design has also been adapted to the AFLW team, including the middle tapping stick changing to a berry colour.
On the back of the jumper, the silhouette of the AFL players has been replaced with eight circles to represent the language groups of each Indigenous AFLW player who has played a game for the club, continuing the tradition started with Jasmin Stewart’s AFLW jumper design for the 2020 and 2021 AFLW seasons.
The design process was done in conjunction with Fremantle’s ‘Stretch’ RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan), which was developed in assistance with the Club’s Indigenous program partner, Woodside.
Headland played 166 games at AFL level, including 114 for Fremantle between 2003 and 2010, while Morrison is just three games into her AFLW career. Last week she was nominated for the NAB AFLW Rising Star following her three-goal performance against Carlton.
After seeing Fremantle’s AFL team wear the design in 2021, Morrison said she would be especially proud to wear the jumper herself alongside her teammates.
“It’s very exciting, we’ve worn it at training and I’m very honoured to have been part of the design and have all the girls wear it as well. It tells my story as well as my uncles, it’s very exciting,” Morrison said.
“Personally, the jumper shows all of my tribes connected and coming together to the point where I was drafted and became a part of the AFLW team.
“Indigenous Round means a lot. I feel like it gives us Indigenous players a platform to showcase our skills and also have that opportunity to share our culture and knowledge with our teammates and fans.”
As well as telling her personal story, the jumper shows the Beeliar Wetlands, which is an area of significant meaning to Morrison. They are shown on the left side of the jumper from the viewer’s perspective to represent the three lakes around the Cockburn area.
“(The lakes are) very important to the Beeliar mob,” Morrison said.
“I was born and raised on Whadjuk country, which is the Perth region, but my family is spread all around WA, through the Yamatji region around Shark Bay and Geraldton and Gija around Halls Creek in the Kimberley.
“My Noongar country isn’t actually Perth, it’s Balladong, which is the Wheatbelt. The left side (of the jumper) shows all of those aspects together and coming to Perth.”
Bynder explained the importance of water to all Indigenous cultures.
“The lakes are significant because water is important to our ancestors,” Bynder said.
“It provides food, shelter and it plays a part in the Wagyl, who we say is our creator. The Wagyl created the lakes by coming up underground looking somewhere to lay her eggs and go down and the water will fill it.”
Headland said he couldn’t wait to see Morrison run out with her teammates in the jumper he helped design.
“It will be a proud moment, especially to have Mikayla wearing it after seeing how well she’s played the past three weeks,” Headland said.
“It’s going to be special for her, the family and for the playing group.
“For me, it’s good to see that the hard work that Mikayla has put in over the past year and a bit has paid off, to get a rising star award as well along the way, that’s a great bonus.
“After watching the boys in the jumper, I’m looking forward to seeing the jumper out on the field again, seeing the AFLW team wear it proudly with them going so well.”