The 2023 Queensland Reds Indigenous Jersey celebrates and honours the relationship between the club and the indigenous community. This jersey will be worn at Suncorp Stadium for the QRU’s Indigenous Round on Friday May 19 against the Blues. The jersey will also be Queensland’s Super W away kit and, for the first time ever, will be the Queensland Reds’ Super Rugby Pacific alternate strip. As a result, this will be the first Reds Indigenous jersey ever worn in New Zealand when the Reds travel to New Plymouth to play the Chiefs.
Designed by Future Indigenous Leaders Program student Nelliarnah Saltner, and in colaboration with Canterbury New Zealand, the jersey features purple and pink dots and circles, representing communities including Cherbourg and Woorabinda. The dots around the circles represent domestic violence and breast cancer, challenges these communities face.
When speaking about the meaning behind her design Nelliarnah said:
“What inspired me to do this design is that every single person who went through breast cancer or domestic violence, fought.
They all fought for their lives, whether they passed or survived, they all fought. And that’s what really inspired me to do this painting.
I did this design because I thought it would best describe it more. The journey wave in the middle describes the challenges against breast cancer and domestic violence. Not only in our culture but in all cultures.
The dots around the journey wave on the outside are communities that are coming together as one community.”
Saltner is one of 350 Indigenous youths who have been mentored in the QRU’s FILP proudly presented by Rio Tinto since its’ inception. Launched in 2013, the program aims to provide mentoring, guidance and leadership development to any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in Years 6 to 10 from the communities of Cherbourg and Woorabinda.
Every year, the program includes face-to-face visits in their community or school from Queensland Rugby Union Indigenous Programs Mentors, two five-day leadership camps, the opportunity to design the Queensland Reds Indigenous Playing jersey and the invitation to attend and be involved at the Queensland Reds Indigenous Round match. The program has achieved a 100% primary to secondary school transition rate across 24 schools across Queensland.