6754572878?profile=RESIZE_710xRound 12 is a special point in the NRL calendar, as Eels utility Will Smith knows too well.

It’s Indigenous Round.

“It just makes me very proud to be an Indigenous man. It’s one of those weekends where we get to celebrate our culture,” he said.

The Parramatta Eels will play the Bulldogs wearing specially designed jerseys by Aboriginal artist Danielle Mate Sullivan, with input from Will.

“The artwork is called connection so it’s about a connection between the past and the present,” Danielle said.

“I’m absolutely rapt with it. The colours are so intense and there’s so much to look at on it.”


Eels' "pride" in 2020 Indigenous Jersey

One of the more special features on the jersey is on the back.

“My favourite (part) would be just down the back there, there’s four hands. Two of the hands are my two kids of two of the hands are Fergo’s two kids. I think it’s just a great touch, they’ll love that,” Will said.

“My kids are very proud to be Indigenous. My daughter goes to a school here in Parramatta and she is the only Indigenous kid at the whole school and she is very proud to tell everyone at the school that she is Indigenous,” he said.


The large circle on the front of the jersey represents the meeting place for the players/warriors of the game, while the line to the top is a journey line to the players’ homelands.

The smaller circles are a nod to communities the Eels visit and work with.

“The past is represented by the warrior and the Parramatta River. The Burramattagal people, who are a clan of the Darug, have a connection to this river where they first settled and caught fish, eels and other sources of food,” Danielle said.

Colours from the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Flags feature on the sides of the jersey.


“I can’t wait to see all the players with the jersey on run out onto the field ... That will be a really proud moment,” Danielle said.

“For an organisation as big as the NRL to acknowledge and to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is huge,” she said.

Blake hopes the Round will not only bring Indigenous culture to the forefront, but also prompt important conversations.

“Everyone’s equal, everyone bleeds the same, so just hopefully we can get that across the board and get that local knowledge into everyone about elders past, present and future. There are conversations to be had,” he said.

You can purchase the 2020 Eels Indigenous Jersey here and see more of Danielle Mate Sullivan's work at her website

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                    • You're right, we will never agree. Pointless argument.

                      Plus, I don't want to argue "to I'm blue in the face" as this will only turn into a skin colour argument and we've been there before on this blog.

                  • And to answer the last question, I have no issues with Australian history pre and post white settlement- it makes Australians what we are today.

                    The greatest country in the world - damn shame many of our younger population, and left leaning ideologues can't get it through their thick heads.

                    • That's not answering the question.

                • It's easy to disprove the "poor attitude" idea Frank. You simply look at the outcomes for indigenous populations in similar countries around the globe. Compare statistics on poverty, health, welfare, employment etc for native Americans living in both the US and Canada, or even across the ditch with the Maori in uNZed.

                  All fall way below the stats for the settler population. So it's not a case unique Indigenous Australia's, it's not at attitude thing, there are real systemic barriers that prevent Indigenous peoples enjoy the outcomes and standard of living that others in our first world countries do.

                  Both sides of politics acknowledge this and in their own ways attempt to address the problem. 

        • I know Frank, I was just playing along with Snake. He's says dickhead stuff that gets people to react, I'm doing the same.

          • Well that is why you do yourself no favours.

            I have taken more shit from Snake and Fong than most people on this site could ever handle. That said I continue to listen to everyone so I can understand different perspectives. 

            I mostly enjoy your interaction Maggie but was disgusted with your post on this blog about the Anzacs, I enjoy the intelligence and dry wit of Daz, obviously I am not in the same leftie league as you guys, neither am I a fascist but find myself agreeing with most of the right rhetoric I see on here.

            Some of the shit coming out of the leftie/green segment has really lost any credibility, its not in your interests as intelligent representatives of your sentiments to take yourselves that far to the bottom of the garden.

            • To be fair, I didn't say it about the ANZAC's I said it as a tongue in cheek reply about Snake wanting an Anglo jersey. Seeing that most Australians of Anglo heratige respect and revere ANZAC day as almost a sacred occasional in Australian culture, the shoe seemed to fit.

              None of those who fought, served, were maimed or killed ( My relies included) where to blame for starting the conflicts, ergo no smear on the average joe veteran.

              When I say "White" it was a reference to British, French, German, Belgium, Spainish, Portuguese colonialism in the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries, American expansionism in the 20th and into the 21st, hell throw in Russia....

              None of which is meant to imply that any of these actions are implicit because the perpetrators where " White ", just that overwhelming over the last 3 centruries European peoples have been at the forefront of global conquest of others lands.


              • The ANZAC's were fighting against genocide mate. It's as simple as that.

                And it's not just "most Australians of Anglo heritage" that revere the ANZAC as a sacred occassion in Australian (and New Zealand) culture - not to mention Turkey and the Allies.

                • you can dig a pretty fair hole maggie, maybe you missed your true vocation!

                  • Probably just dug deeper below pop :)

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