Thursday 13 August 2020

Nailee Jerring

Xavier Naish enjoyed growing up in a football family, with his father Chris and brother Patrick playing for the Richmond Tiger’s Football Club in Melbourne. In Xavier’s final year at Ivanhoe Grammar School he was the proud Captain of the 1st XVIII Team and was exposed to many of the AFL clubs and AGSV’s Indigenous programs and initiatives. This experience inspired Xavier to create Ivanhoe Grammar School’s first Indigenous designed football jersey to recognise and celebrate Indigenous culture and players during the annual Indigenous Round.

‘It was something I wanted to bring to Ivanhoe in not just football but in all sports. I love the art of the culture and therefore wanted to explore the stories behind the dreamtime,’ he said.

The Indigenous Round, also known as Sir Doug Nicholls Round, is a renowned round of AFL that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contribution to Australian football.

Xavier made some enquiries and was introduced to proud Kija-Bardi woman and artist, Kamilya White, who grew up in Wurundjeri Country. She was excited to be a part of such an important project and the School commissioned her to design the jersey.

‘I thought it was a very important and exciting project to be involved in; creating a design to embrace and celebrate Indigenous culture and art, for such a highly respected Victorian school,’ she said.

Xavier and Kamilya met at Chelsworth Park to discuss the project and walk around the picturesque grounds where many games of School football have been played over the years. As they discussed the project, Kamilya began to draw inspiration from the park and the history of the School for her artwork, Nailee Jerring.

‘Nailee Jerring was created as a design to pay tribute, not only to the local Traditional owners, but also to the tradition of Ivanhoe Grammar School, whilst celebrating Reconciliation Week’s Dreamtime Round. Much of my inspiration came from walking on Country around Chelsworth Park Reserve and of course also the existing football jumper design.’

Kamilya went on to explain the meaning behind the name of her design.

‘The meaning behind the name is to join or unite in Woiwurrung, the language of the Wurundjeri people – traditional Owners of the land on which Ivanhoe Grammar School is situated.

The jerseys are in the process of being made, and the design is now being used for all Ivanhoe Grammar School’s winter sports, with the First teams celebrating an Indigenous Round, including Cross Country, Netball, Girls’ Basketball, Soccer, Hockey and Boys’ Badminton.

Alongside the work that Xavier and Kamilya had begun, Ivanhoe Grammar School was also going through a process of discovery with the creation of a Reconciliation Action Plan, outlining the School’s vision for reconciliation. The school’s vision is for an inclusive inter-cultural relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians based on common respect and recognition of the enduring value of First Peoples’ knowledge and cultures.

‘Kamilya’s artwork, Nailee Jerring, is a beautiful piece. Kamilya, through her artwork has been able to connect the colours of the School, the purpose of the School and the features of Country which the School belongs to.  We hope that our school community will connect with the piece and its intentions – to foster and embrace greater diversity in the relationships that we seek,’ said Director of Co-Curricular Learning, Chris Branigan.

The integration of this beautiful and unique piece of art across the School is testament to the School’s commitment to cultural inclusion and connection to Country, which in turn fosters a positive environment for learning for all students. As part of this process Ivanhoe Grammar School has also developed an Acknowledgement of Country and now has the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags proudly displayed at the front of The Ridgeway Campus in Ivanhoe.

‘Kamilya White’s artwork you see attached to our emails and in other places around the School represents our ongoing commitment to forging strong relationships between us and the Aboriginal community. It sends a signal to those around us about the importance we place on these growing relationships and the significance to our students as they forge new ways of being in Australia’s future,’ said Head of Global Engagement, Stacey Taylor.



Nailee Jerring Explained

The blue lines bordering each white panel represent the local Yarra River (Birrarung) and its tributaries. The white outer panels depict the leaves of the Manna Gum, used in ceremony by the Wurundjeri people, also known as The ‘Manna Gum People’. The Manna Gum is commonly found along the Yarra where Aboriginal people traditionally gathered.

The central white circular patterns represent meeting places and symbolise the school community coming together to participate in sporting, recreational and academic pursuits. The lines linking the two central circles represent the journey of individual students and the brown dots symbolise the Ivanhoe Grammar School population, past and present.

Artist Kamilya White