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Lightning Reveal 2020 Indigenous Dress Design

Sunshine Coast Lightning’s 2020 Indigenous dress sees a collaboration between Kabi Kabi elder Aunty Hope O’Chin and local Chancellor College First Nations students, incorporating themes of teamwork and local Sunshine Coast history.

Aunty Hope was joined by local Chancellor College First Nations students in an education and artwork session in early 2020, and these student drawings were interwoven into the final design.

“I am a Kabi Kabi woman, I am an elder of this community and I was born and raised in an Aboriginal community about 300km from here,” Aunty hope said.

“The designs represent the diversity of communities that make up Lightning.

“The theme behind my design was teamwork, it’s like a body – you need every part of a body to be able to function, in order to be able to move.

“Well, it’s exactly the same as the Lightning team, it’s the same for our Indigenous teams.

In collaboration with the Sunshine Coast Council, Aunty Hope met with the First Nations students earlier in the year to speak about the history of the Sunshine Coast region, the Kabi Kabi people and what it means to be a First Nations female now and in future years.

This session provided the inspiration for the art session – with students choosing to focus on local wildlife, the Glasshouse Mountains and other individual design elements that resonated on a personal level.  

“I also wanted to share the work from the Chancellor College students that I had the chance to spend the day with, they designed a lot of the motifs embedded within the design and I was really proud of that,” she said.

“It was almost 20 years since I was back in the classroom as a teacher and it was worth the wait!”

The original artwork for the Lightning Indigenous dress was created in February and while a lot has changed in the world since then, Aunty Hope emphasised respect and teamwork both in netball and in life.

“We will never forsake the important values and beliefs of our culture and that’s to be able to show respect to everyone in order for everyone to respect us and our continent,” she said.

“Remember that we stand together, we will be able to fight anything – even COVID. It’s true!”

Aunty Hope presented each Lightning player with their Indigenous dress at a special meeting at the Club in the leadup to the Round 13 match against Collingwood Magpies.

This year’s Indigenous Round will be played in Townsville on Wednesday and then head north to Cairns.