Melbourne based Super Rugby franchise the Rebels have announced that they will celebrate and embrace the Indigenous cultures that make up the Club on Friday 27th June, 2014 when we take on the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park.
The match will feature Indigenous pre-game entertainment, and both sides will wear their 2014 limited edition Indigenous jersey.
The Rebels' Indigenous jersey has been designed by Barbara Egan (Aunty Barb), a 'Mati Mati' woman from Balranald. Aunty Barb runs and organises an Aboriginal Art & Design Centre in a large shed in Robinvale, North Western Victoria, by the great Murray River and is a big part of the Access Rugby Program.
The Rebels will dedicate the entire week to all Indigenous cultures throughout Melbourne, including Australian, New Zealand, Samoan, Tongan and Fijian Indigenous players and their families.
Every jersey has a story, and Aunty Barb specifically designed this jersey to reflect many hands and feet joined together to create teamwork against adversity.
Rebels' CEO Rob Clarke was proud of the jersey, one of the brightest to ever be seen in Super Rugby, and the message in which it stands for.
"I think Aunty Barb has done a fantastic job; the jersey looks brilliant," Clarke said. "Most importantly, we pay tribute to the melting pot of Indigenous cultures from across the globe who play such a major role in the continued rise of Rugby in Victoria.
"I want to thank the Reds for also agreeing to wear their Indigenous jersey; it's going to be a wonderful showcase next Friday at AAMI Park."
The limited edition indigenous jerseys are now available for pre-sale at the Melbourne Rebels' online store.
If you miss out on the limited edition jersey, the match worn jerseys will also be available online from the end of Rebels vs Reds game.
Each jersey will be personally signed by individual players and kept in playing condition. Importantly, the proceeds from the match worn jerseys will go towards funding the Victorian U14 and U16 teams as they tour New Zealand later this year; consistent with the Rebels and community Rugby throughout Victoria, there are a large number of players with Indigenous cultures and heritage from all over the world who will make up these representative teams.