A UNIFORM TO INSPIRE
Posted on April 01 2018
Have you ever imagined your artwork being worn by an international sports team? Well, that dream came true for 1 young artist/basketball fan. Through a social media competition hosted by the Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball All-Stars, Mikaela Morgan was awarded this opportunity.
In early May, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists were invited to submit artwork to form the major design component of the new All-Stars uniforms for the 2018 Trans Tasmin series. This is an annual event competed in against the New Zealand Maori National team.
Artists were encouraged to draw from their own experiences and link the design to personal wellbeing, unity, and culture. Designs were then submitted and shortlisted. With the opportunity to be recognized across Australia and New Zealand, this was a great moment for many young and established artists.
The judging panel had the hard task of reviewing all of the entries, before announcing Mikaela Morgan from the Wiradjuri clan in Dubbo, NSW the Winner. Through her artwork, she showcased and represented the beauty of bringing both cultures together through the imagery of rivers and animals.
For the 5th consecutive year, EMU Sportswear was given the honour of providing the teams' uniforms. Over the past 2 months EMU Sportswear designer, Rohan Lee has worked on breathing life into Mikaela’s design. It was a detailed task of transferring the design from painting to the computer screen, whilst retaining the integratory and message of the piece.
Working closely with Head Coach Joel Khalu and the Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Lee was able to replicate the colours, enhance certain features, and transform the piece into a wearable piece of art. A few key details were then replicated and incorporated into the on-court training gear and formal wear.
‘The players love the cut and the feel, and most of all, the design! ‘, Khalu said. ‘They are really proud to be wearing them.’
Originating from North Queensland with an all Australian heritage, EMU Sportswear is regularly approached to do Aboriginal and Torres Strait uniforms. Whether it is a memorial design, Koori Knockout uniform or a Council’s event polo, keeping the design true to its original message is imperative.
Khalu and the team have come off the back of a monumental fourth consecutive Trans-Tasman campaign defeating the New Zealand Maori 2-1. With the Cup staying in Australia for another 12-month stint, the 2019 series is set to be back in Australia where the Maoris will be coming for the title.
Keep up to date with all Australian Indigenous Basketball events by following the official social media platforms.