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Community & Business

30 June, 2023

Local artist designs West Tigers Indigenous jersey

Please note: The Gilgandra Weekly was unable to get in touch with Brent Naden or Will Towney, and quotes and photos have been taken from an article written by the West Tigers

A Gilgandra local is one of the hands behind the West Tigers 2023 Indigenous jersey, and he is beyond proud to be representing his culture on such a large stage.

In an article written by the NRL West Tigers team, Aboriginal artist Will Towney explained how he was asked to design this year’s jersey.

“It was Brent (Naden’s) idea that I paint this creation and I was honestly lost for words and so grateful to be asked,” he told the West Tigers media team.

Brent Naden is an Indigenous Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a centre and winger for the Wests Tigers. His grandfather is Gilgandra’s Ralph Naden OAM.

“A lot of my culture I have learnt from my dad, my pop and my cousin Ralph Naden who is Brent’s pop,” Mr Towney explained.

“The main reason I practice my Indigenous art is to free my mind from life’s pressures, even though I’m colour blind. It was such a complex task with so much detail and I knew it would test my abilities as an artist.”

Mr Naden wanted to incorporate all of the West Tigers Indigenous players, including their past, present, and future. He explained that the jersey is a collection of stories and symbols. “It tells an important story, and that’s what we wanted to do,” he said.

“The left side represents the ocean and the east coast, and over on the right side is Wellington and Bathurst where me and (Brandon) Tumeth are from.

“The lower middle on the front is Concord where we all meet and has all the boys, and the Indigenous boys have the coloured totems.

“My totem is the goanna. There are seven different types of goannas but my one is the sand goanna, my father’s totem.”

The back also tells a story, with the main image bring the team that will play the Indigenous round – the 17 players and the coaches.

“The Indigenous boys have got the colour of their totem in there, and the kangaroo footprints show the new Mob joining us this season,” said Mr Naden.

Then there’s the lower back image which represents our three homes if you like, Campbelltown, Leichhardt, and Concord.”

 Of the seven Indigenous players represented in the jersey, Naden and Will Smith are the only ones with children.

“Me and Will (Smith) wanted to have our kids involved, so we got their handprints in the design as well,” said Naden.

Cousin and Aboriginal artist Will Towney from Gilgandra pulled all these ideas together to create a piece that was reflective of everything Brent had explained.

“I met with a few of the boys at the Zurich Centre and we discussed the process, colour palette and storyline behind the jersey,” said Mr Towney.

“They wanted the jersey to be a story that represented their family, community, and tribes, showing their journey to Wests Tigers.”

This was the first year the club approached Mr Naden to be the designer. The jersey was worn by Wests Tigers players in last month’s Indigenous round match against North Queensland Cowboys.

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