The artworks and concept for the Cronulla Sharks 2022 Indigenous Jersey was created and designed by Elaine Chambers-Hegarty, an Aboriginal Graphic Designer and Artist with cultural links to the Koa, Kuku Yalanji, and Barada Barna people
Elaine designed this jersey artwork based on the local area which is on the Land of the Gweagal People of the Dharawal Nation. The name Cronulla comes from the local Aboriginal word ‘Kurranulla’ meaning the place of pink seashells. This artwork depicts the shoreline of Cronulla, and the deeper sea, along with pink shells and ‘pathways’. These pathways are to represent the players and their journey, and the pathway to education and opportunities Kirinari Hostel provides to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from all over Australia. Gathering places represent our players coming together and gathering on the field at Pointsbet Stadium on Dharawal Country from their traditional Country or Nation across Australia. The focus on the local area, geography and shoreline is a strong tie to the return of the Cronulla Sharks to their home at Pointsbet Stadium for the 2022 NRL Season.
The artwork fades from dark blue to light blue, representing the gradients of the deep ocean as it approaches the shallows and the shoreline. The sharks represent the team, and are depicted circling in a feeding frenzy, representing the physicality, precision, and force in the game of rugby league.
The design incorporates local fish species which were completed by Kirinari Hostel students to add to our combined story of the shoreline. The “schools” of fish are traveling their pathways, nod to the educational opportunities provided to students at the hostel.
On the sleeve of the jersey, we have represented each of our Indigenous players, their family and Nation of Origin through their totems. In Aboriginal cultures a totem is commonly an animal that is inherited by members or a clan or family as their spiritual emblem. Totems define peoples roles and responsibilities, and their relationships with each other and with creation. The totems displayed on this jersey are the goanna, representing Wade Graham (Bundjalung), Jesse Ramien, Andrew Fifita and Nicho Hynes (Wiradjuri), the black snake, representing Braydon Trindall (Kamilaroi) and the emu, representing Will Kennedy (Kamilaroi).
Elaine’s artwork comes together to tell a story on a beautiful jersey that our players can be proud to wear - representing our club, our rich history and culture, our commitment to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the connection to Land in Kurranulla.