The striking jersey will also launch a community partnership with Deadly Choices, promoting health checks in Indigenous communities.
The Heat will wear the strip again for Wednesday night’s Gabba game against the Strikers, before auctioning the unique shirts to raise money for the Queensland Cricket Foundation.
Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson said the First Nations Round was a great initiative and all involved were “extremely proud” of the jersey and the story behind it.
“We look forward to celebrating Queensland’s Indigenous culture at this Saturday night’s game and again next Wednesday,” he said.
The Indigenous design for the Heat playing strips is the result of a collaboration between Heat WBBL player Mikayla Hinkley and Brisbane Indigenous artist, Delores McDonald (“Aunty Delly”).
Creators of the Indigenous jerseys
WBBL player Mikayla Hinkley is a proud Kunja woman whose family hails from Cunnamulla, south of Charleville, and is a close friend of artist Aunty Delly.
The unique jersey design captures the stories and connection to country around Brisbane and the Gabba. The artwork features the rainbow serpent (signifying the Brisbane River) and local water holes (Woolloongabba meaning “place of whirling water”), along with other significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural history.
“Rather than just being an art piece, I think it’s a real statement and conversation starter which gives Indigenous youth something to aspire to; and really illustrates where we want to take this sport in the Indigenous space,” Hinkley said.
“The storytelling element visualises where we want to take cricket within the Indigenous community in Queensland.
“With the NAIDOC theme being Heal Country this year, it’s really fitting for what we are trying to achieve as an organisation, both from the Brisbane Heat and the Queensland Cricket perspective.
“The fact we’ve been able to visualise such an amazing story and history of culture in this city gives these kids something to aspire to; and encourages them to keep connecting with culture through playing cricket.”
The stories behind the Heat’s Indigenous jersey design:
- Front: flames of Heat logo, Gabba circle with players sitting, circle represents harmony and unity, bringing players and fans together.
- Back: Brisbane River with its abundance of foods, plus animal and human tracks. Rainbow serpent/snake represents both male and female. Circle represents Gabba, plus roads travelled to and from it by teams.
- Sleeve: Centre circle is Gabba, alongside other water holes which used to be near the ground. 87 black strokes on red earth represent the wickets taken by Aboriginal great, Eddie Gilbert (23 games for Qld).