DESIGNING the Port Adelaide Indigenous guernsey has been an honour bestowed upon five players in recent years, and in 2019 it’s Sam Powell-Pepper’s turn to tell his story.
Powell-Pepper is a proud Wadjuk & Ballardong man and the guernsey is a representation of his journey from Western Australia to Alberton.
The 21-year-old sat down with his teammates on Wednesday morning to proudly elaborate on the meaning behind his design.
“On the left of the guernsey are the 16 Indigenous players and staff that we have at Port Adelaide,” he said.
“I think the most in the AFL which is something we are very proud of.
“Here on the heart we have the 46 players - us boys, the brothers, on the heart, one heart.
“The bottom left circle represents Alberton Oval, our heartland, where all players and staff come together to support our dream of playing AFL.”
Powell-Pepper went on to explain the importance of the teal and white swirl emerging from the V, saying they were the flowing waters of the Port River going down to Alberton Oval.
It is his way of recognising and paying respect to the Karuna people, who are the traditional owners of the land.
The Goanna tracks in the teal V of the guernsey represent Powell-Pepper’s totem back in Western Australia. The tracks represent the journey he has experienced in his life.
The strong-bodied midfielder then discussed the meaning behind the bottom part of the guernsey, and the impact the members and fans have on the entire football club.
“We have the steps and the journey of all our members and fans,” he said.
“We are always wanting to pay respect to the people who support us through thick and thin.”
For the first time in the club’s history, the Power will wear its Indigenous guernsey in China when it takes on St Kilda in Shanghai on Sunday 2 June.
The AFL’s Principal Indigenous programs partner, Rio Tinto, has extended its support to the Shanghai clash by supporting the Yelleka dance troupe to perform the official Welcome to China, as well as, an exhibition in the week leading up to the game.
Port Adelaide’s Director of Aboriginal Programs Paul Vandenbergh said he was really proud of Rio Tinto’s support for the club in China.
“Rio Tinto have always been a big supporter of Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal people for many years,” he said.
“They are the largest employer of Indigenous people, so we are really proud to have them on board.
“To be able to wear Peps’ guernsey is even more significant because we will be able to showcase internationally what Indigenous Round means to the AFL and our club.”
Rio Tinto’s Vice President Corporate Relation Australia Brad Haynes said, “we are very proud to be partnering with the Port Adelaide Football Club to support this cultural exchange between Australia and China, and showcase our countries rich Indigenous heritage and love for AFL football.”
“This partnership takes Australia’s Indigenous game to the other side of the world and shares it with millions of people, which is really exciting.”
The Power will wear their Indigenous guernsey on three occasions in 2019, beginning in Round 10 in Launceston against Hawthorn.
They will then wear it on the international stage against St Kilda in Shanghai, before donning it in front of a home crowd for the first time in Round 14 against Geelong.