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Hobart Hurricanes launch First Nations Round kit in Mackay

18 November 2021

The Hobart Hurricanes are preparing to take for the field for the first time in the Weber WBBL’s inaugural First Nations Round when they take on the Melbourne Renegades at Mackay’s Great Barrier Reef Arena tomorrow afternoon.

Running from November 17 to 21 and encompassing 10 matches, the first league-wide First Nations Round is being held as a part of Weber WBBL|07, celebrating the hundreds of First Nations players and traditional custodians of the land that cricket is played on.

To celebrate the occasion, the Hurricanes will proudly wear a specially-designed kit in both of their matches this weekend, designed by palawa woman, Sharnie Read.

Hailing from the North West coast with a background in Aboriginal heritage management, Read’s design represents the ancient symbols of Tasmanian Aboriginal people; representing one of the oldest cultures in the world and showcasing palawa connection to country.

Most of the symbols depicted are found in ancient engravings around the island’s coastline, and show the palawa people’s connection to land and sea through the symbols rolling across the waves. The blue gum leaves represent the sharing of knowledge, the love of the island, and its unique environment.

“Anyone who’s connected to lutruwita, if you’re born here, if you’re representative of here, those symbols connect you to place, that’s how we see it in the Aboriginal community,” said Read.

“Tasmania’s history is quite beautiful, and in regards to those symbols, they have been recreated and connected by all generations, right through to today.

“When people see dot paintings they think of Aboriginal people [but] those dot paintings are really only from the desert country, they’re from one particular kind of Aboriginal identity…they don’t represent all Aboriginal people. 

“These symbols on your shirts, they represent all Aboriginal people in Tasmania, but they wouldn’t represent anyone on the mainland…mainland Aboriginal people wouldn’t recognise them in the sense of their connection [to the land], but everyone in the Tasmanian Aboriginal community recognises them as our connection,” Read told the Hurricanes WBBL playing group.

General Manager of the Hobart Hurricanes, Scott Barnes, added;

“The team had a virtual sit-down with Sharnie yesterday to learn a little both about herself and her experience as an Aboriginal Tasmanian, and also to understand what the design they would be wearing on the weekend would mean to people back in Tasmania.

“It’s really important to our players that they understand what it means to pull on a Hurricanes jersey, but even more so this week during the league’s inaugural First Nations Round.

“We are incredibly thankful to Sharnie not just for her beautiful design but for the time she has taken to engage with the team, and I’m sure the they will represent her and the palawa people with pride in Mackay this weekend.”