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United by Purple

Cook's hometown inspires 2019 Indigenous guernsey

Fremantle's 2019 Indigenous guernsey. - Fremantle,Fremantle Dockers
Fremantle's 2019 Indigenous guernsey.

Fremantle Dockers life member Troy Cook looked to his hometown and heritage for inspiration when designing the club's Indigenous guernsey for the 2019 season.

The jumper was announced at Fremantle’s season launch on Tuesday at the Crown Ballroom and will be worn by Freo in round 10 against the Brisbane Lions on Sunday May 26 at Optus Stadium for Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Cook, who grew up in Carnarvon 1000km north of Perth, utilised the landmarks, fauna and cultural connections that have had a lasting impression on his life.

The 150-game player for Fremantle said the Gascoyne River is the central feature of the jumper.

“The middle feature is the Gascoyne River with 25 River Mullet, symbolising the 25-year history of the Fremantle Football Club,” Cook said.

“The river was my oasis. Spearing, lashing, fishing and swimming with family and friends was a regular occurrence.

“The Gascoyne is not a flowing river but to witness the river coming down after heavy rains inland is an amazing experience which brings the surrounding area to life.

“Either side of the river are the tracks of a kangaroo, emu and goanna. Each was hunted as a respected food source for many families. The animals survive around the permanent water holes.

“The Gascoyne’s language groups are acknowledged and represented in people meeting around a fire. They represent the groups that remain and also those who have passed through over time.”

Co-designed with up and coming Carnarvon artist Victor Bellotti, the jumper also represents the multicultural background of many Australians, including Cook.

“This guernsey acknowledges a part of who I am and where I come from,” Cook said.

“I was born in the Year of the Dragon. At the bottom right of the guernsey is the character of the Dragon, representing my Grandfather’s Chinese heritage, on my mother’s side.

The jumper will once again feature the Sorry Day Flower.

The club is honoured to have once again been given permission by the Kimberley Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation to feature the Sorry Day Flower on this guernsey.

The flower represents the native hibiscus, which survives in harsh conditions and is a symbol of strength, resilience, compassion and understanding with the purple colour also symbolising healing.

Fremantle’s coaching, football and off-field staff will also wear the Sorry Day Flower pin on their lapel during Sir Doug Nicholls Round in unity with our playing group.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs