The Hotondo Homes Ballarat Miners and Selkirk Ballarat Rush have proudly launched their 2021 Indigenous Jersey ahead of the NBL1 Indigenous Round this weekend.
Designed by Jayden Lillyst, the jersey features ‘Bala Arat’ which is the Wadawaurring wording for ‘Resting Place’ and shows how the significance of the area being a stopping place for people.
Lillyst spoke about how he had designed the jersey so younger people could look, learn and understand its meaning.
“Even though I’m anywhere between Gunditjmara country out near Heywood and the city, this area is always seen as the stop off place for myself and friends.” Lillyst said. “It’s for them to say, ‘I know what those colours mean, I know what that flag means’, it gives a presence for our culture,
“These are all things that point to health, our art keeps us healthy, our country keeps us healthy and sport keeps us healthy in mind, body and soul. Steps like this from sporting organisations help that on a community level.”
Selkirk Ballarat Rush players Alicia Froling and Jasmine Simmons joined Hotondo Homes Ballarat Miner William Hickey to reveal the jersey on Wednesday at the Ballarat Wildlife Park with some native animals.
Froling commented on how proud the women’s program will be to wear the jersey over the weekend.
“It’s great that we’re recognising the first people of our land and we’re showing kids that there is a pathway that they can do anything they want,” she said. “The design is awesome, I love Indigenous art, it looks great and it will be a really cool thing for us to wear.”
Hotondo Homes Ballarat Miner player William Hickey said he is thrilled to wear the jersey on Saturday Night.
“The thing that I’m proudest of is my culture, I’m a strong, proud Indigenous man and this jersey is something I’ll take great pride in wearing,” Hickey said. “Being an Indigenous man, culture is the number one thing I take part in, I’m that before a basketball player.
“I love the jersey, especially being able to get a local artist to design it.”
Ballarat will host the NBL1 Game of the Round in the annual Indigenous Round on Saturday night. Proceedings will include a Welcome/Acknowledgement to Country, didgeridoo performance, exhibition game played by West Vic Eels Junior Basketball Club at half-time and more to be revealed on the night.
Ballarat’s Partnerships and Events Manager, Andrew Day, said the spectacle holds a special meaning to his association.
“We are proud to be able to celebrate the contributions of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who continue to inspire our local community.” Day said. “It has been a pleasure to attend the NAIDOC events in Ballarat thus far and support the Wadawurrung community broadly.”
Ballarat will face Knox at Ballarat Sports Events Centre Saturday Night. Tickets can be purchased here.
About Jayden Lillyst’s Jersey Design
“The idea behind this design is to signify the importance of the Aboriginal Flag to the Aboriginal community here in Ballarat. I’ve used ‘Bala Arat’, being Wadawurrung for ‘Resting Place’. What better way to acknowledge the First Nations here in Ballarat than to keep their Language alive on their Country. ‘Balla Arat/Resting Place’ also brings to mind the idea of how many Australians have found Ballarat to be their own resting places on their Journeys. From my family stopping off in Ballarat on our trips from Melbourne to Heywood, to the rich history of mining, immigrants and settlers also ‘Resting’ here. The pathways on the bottom portray those journeys, and are coloured in white to acknowledge the spirituality of those journeys.”