The Australian Sports Museum is pleased to join forces with Melbourne to celebrate the Football Club’s Indigenous history and unveil the “NARRM Football Club” display.
The exhibition opens to coincide with the Melbourne Football Club’s unveiling of the NARRM Football Club; a Reconciliation-inspired name that will be adopted during the Sir Doug Nicholls Round of the 2022 AFL Premiership Season.
Narrm, the Aboriginal name for Melbourne, comes from Woi Wurrung, the language spoken by the traditional owners of the city and its surrounds.
The initiative is one of more than two years in the making, where the club worked closely with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation to gain invaluable knowledge and permission of Narrm’s use.
Inside the Australian Sports Museum, visitors will enter an atmospheric space that takes them on the journey through the Melbourne Football Club’s Indigenous links.
On display are each of the Melbourne Football Club’s Indigenous Round jumpers: the especially designed guernseys worn in the AFL and AFL Women’s competitions honouring all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, their culture, art and connection to country, since 2014.
Throughout the years, while the designs have changed, the message is always the same: ‘we are here, this is us, and we are proud’.
The jumpers are supported by a visual chronology of Melbourne Football Club’s Indigenous history from the recruitment of Eddie Jackson in 1947, to the Club’s launch of its second Reconciliation Action Plan in 2022. Visitors can also experience multimedia offerings through a touchscreen that tells the story of each jumper’s design, featuring interviews and artwork inspirations.
Melbourne CEO Gary Pert said it was exciting to be unveiling the new exhibit in the Australian Sports Museum, alongside the launch of Narrm Football Club.
“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,” Pert said.
“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, said the Museum was honoured to be able to play a role in celebrating the Indigenous history of the Melbourne Football Club – a Sporting Section and proud partner of the MCC – on the land of the Kulin nation.
“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 FC for working with us on this display and trusting us to help tell the story of their connections with Indigenous culture.
“The exhibition will be open until October, so there will be plenty of time for visitors to experience the display, particularly as we start to welcome more and more interstate and international visitors back to the MCG.”
The NARRM Football Club exhibition, located in the Australian Football Gallery of the Australian Sports Museum will be on display until October 2, 2022.