SANFL Celebrates NAIDOC Week with Indigenous Art

The artwork completed by Artist Shane Mankitya Cook, known as Kooka.

To celebrate NAIDOC week and Indigenous Round, SANFL worked with local Indigenous artist Shane Mankitya Cook, known as Kooka, to produce a unique piece of artwork which reflects the impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have had on football in SA.

The artwork reflects the home grounds of all 10 clubs, as well as paying respect to Tandanya, the place of the Red Kangaroo. It also acknowledges the different cultures and communities within the football landscape and how cultural knowledge should be the foundation of everything we do.

Each element of the artwork has its own significance and meaning. Shane explains the key points of the story of the design:

  • The meeting places represent the home grounds of all the teams in the SANFL. They are located different distances apart from each other and are connected by journey lines to represent the clubs traveling to and from, to compete against each other.
  • The people sitting around the meeting places in the four corners represent the players and the challenges they face each quarter of every game.
  • The meeting places that represent the SANFL clubs are placed on top of another meeting place, which has multiple different layers. The meeting place which a has been positioned beneath the clubs, has multiple layers to show the diversity of the Traditional owners within the South Australian community and to celebrate them.
  • The central red layers represent Adelaide City, to pay respect to the traditional place name Tandanya the place of the red kangaroo.
  • The two set of white journey lines represent the SANFL timeline. The thin white lines represent the journey of current players, and the thicker white lines below represent the foundation the past players have walked before them.
  • Below the journey lines are row of brown shades of dots, these represents the many different cultures and communities within the football community. It represents that cultural knowledge should be the foundation of everything we do.

Elements of this piece have been used across SANFL’s digital channels as part of Indigenous Round and NAIDOC as per the examples below. You can also see more of Shane’s art on Instagram @Shanakooka_

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