A collaboration between Gemma Houghton and artist Tjunkaya Ken, the design depicts a story of two sisters. Image: Matt Sampson.

YARTAPUULTI* has unveiled its second First Nations guernsey to be worn throughout the NAB AFLW Indigenous Round. 

A collaboration between Power forward Gemma Houghton and artist Tjunkaya Ken of Iwiri Studio in Port Adelaide, the design depicts a story of two sisters. 

Ken is an Anangu Pitjantjatjara woman from the APY Lands, while Houghton, a Yindjibarndi woman, hails from Western Australia.  

The two combined to create the stunning black, white, silver and teal design, which is a story of sisterhood, with links to Houghton’s grandmother. 

“When Gemma asked me, I knew straight away what I would paint,” Ken said. 

“I had been given the Tjukurpa by my eldest sister, and this was the first time I was able to paint it. It was about two sisters, so I thought the story would go really well.” 


Ken used her own artistic expression and creative interpretation to tell the story, which comes from Irrunytju (Wingellina), her grandmother’s country, with her family informing her of certain elements that had to be included. 

“I was told it had to have the two circles which would represent the two sisters, the older sister and the younger sister,” she said. 

“The older sister was in the north and the younger sister was taken down south, so the older sister had to go looking for her to bring her back home. You can see the journey, where the older sister comes down and brings the sister back home. On the way, she’s teaching her about country, lore and culture.  

“Since it’s for the Port Adelaide women’s guernsey, it just made sense. It’s about taking care of each other and teaching each other things along the way. 

“I had to also make sure I had the two digging sticks on the side, they’re called wana. That’s part of the Tjukurpa. It also shows different landscapes and journeys surrounding the wana.” 

Artist Tjunkaya Ken of Iwiri Studio says she immediately knew what she would paint when approached by Gemma Houghton. Image: Matt Sampson.

The shells laid across the top back panel and down the sides of the guernsey are special to Houghton and represent her grandmother, Clara Coffin. 

“The shells are so important and significant to our family,” Houghton said. 

“My grandmother is Yindjibarndi from Roebourne in Port Hedland, she collected them throughout her journey. She’s passed away now so I never got to meet her, but I’ve always felt connected to her and connected to the land and the beach in particular, through her shells. My Uncle Norm back in Perth still has all the shells she collected and there’s hundreds of them.” 

Several elements within the design are shared between Houghton and Ken – it represents both of their grandmothers, while the geographical location where the story originates is relevant to both women. 

“My story actually comes from my grandmother and, where I’m from, the APY Lands, it’s a tri-state so it goes from South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia and this story comes from Western Australia, which is a really good connection to Gemma,” Ken said. 

“There are so many tribes that have this one story with different names, and each area has their own songs and dances that relate to this one story.” 

The guernsey represents both Tjunkaya and Gemma's grandmothers, and the geographical location where the story originates is relevant to both women. Image: Matt Sampson.

Houghton is looking forward to running out alongside her teammates, wearing artwork that is close to her heart.  

“To wear this guernsey and to represent my grandmother and all the sacrifices and hardships she’s been through in her life to pave the way for us is really important to me,” Houghton said. 

“The story ties so perfectly with Tjunkaya and my journey coming together. I don’t have family in South Australia, so to be connected to Tjunkaya through this and for us to be connected to the club is what it’s all about.” 

Tjunkaya and Gemma combined to create a stunning black, white, silver and teal design, which depicts a story of sisterhood. Image: Matt Sampson.

Guernseys in adult sizes are available exclusively in-store from the Port Store at Alberton. 

The Port Store will also be taking phone orders with a ship-from-store option available to ensure that members and fans are given the best opportunity possible to purchase. All guernseys ordered over the phone will receive a free can cooler (one per order). 

A portion of the profit of sales goes towards the continued support of the Port Adelaide’s Aboriginal programs. 

*Port Adelaide Football Club will be known as Yartapuulti throughout AFLW Indigenous Round, which take place in Rounds 7 and 8.