MELBOURNE and the Australian Sports Museum have come together to celebrate the club’s rich Indigenous history with the opening of a new exhibition.
Unveiled on Monday, the atmospheric space highlights the Demons’ Indigenous links and the club’s connection to culture and Country, all within its spiritual home of the MCG.
Taking pride of place in the display are each of the club’s Indigenous guernseys – there are 13 jumpers in total, worn by Melbourne across the AFL and AFLW competitions from 2014 through to 2022.
The special designs are accompanied by an explanation of their symbolic meaning, which speaks to how each honours past and present Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players of the club.
Supporting the jumpers is a visual chronology of the Demons’ Indigenous history.
The featured display begins with the recruitment of the club’s first Indigenous player, Eddie Jackson, in 1947 and journeys to the release of Melbourne’s second Reconciliation Action Plan earlier this year.
The exhibition is rounded out with a special Narrm Football Club logo, reflecting Melbourne’s announcement to take on the name of Narrm for Sir Doug Nicholls Round and AFLW Indigenous Round.
“Alongside the launch of Narrm Football Club, it’s exciting to be unveiling a new exhibit today in the Australian Sports Museum,” Melbourne CEO Gary Pert said.
“We have a rich Indigenous history at Melbourne and to be able to showcase this, alongside our 13 Indigenous guernsey designs and their stories, is really special.
“I encourage all our members and supporters to come along to the museum and enjoy this great display, learning more about our history and vision for reconciliation.
“I would like to thank the MCC and Australian Sports Museum for bringing this exhibition to life and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.”
Australian Sports Museum Manager Jed Smith echoed Pert’s sentiment.
“The Narrm Football Club exhibition is a truly exciting venture for us, touching a subject that is so vitally important to all Australians - that of reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Smith said.
“The Museum‘s Australian Football gallery already proudly displays the 2016 Indigenous Round jumpers belonging to (former Melbourne player) Neville Jetta.
“To have all 13 jumpers on display, including those from the AFL Women’s competition and this year’s design, in line with the Narrm Football Club announcement, allows us to tell an even deeper story.
“We thank Melbourne Football Club for working with us on this display and trusting us to help tell the story of their connections with Indigenous culture.”
The Narrm Football Club exhibition, located in the Australian Football Gallery of the Australian Sports Museum, will be on display until October 2, 2022.