Taroona will don a historic Indigenous jersey throughout the remainder of the 2023 season and beyond after partnering with leading Palawa artist Sharnie Read.
Read, who has designed First Nations playing jerseys for the likes of Hobart Hurricanes and Tasmanian JackJumpers, said the kit reflected the club’s values and connections to people and country.
“I always sit down with clubs and ask about their cultural background and try to establish an understanding of what’s important and why they want to wear an Indigenous jersey,” Read said.
“After consultation with the club, we’ve created a design that focuses on the environment in which they play, train, and live together.
“Kunanyi/Mt Wellington was very prominent, so the shape of mountain and organ pipes feature in the design, the bluegum also features heavily, and timtumili minanya/River Derwent as well – all environmental elements that show the club’s connection to the land.
“There are also songlines and histories written into our landscapes, so this jersey has a songline that represents past players, club members, and of course there is the penguin design representing the club’s logo and history.”
Taroona club president Simon Plumb said their indigenous jersey would be a source of ongoing pride for the Penguins.
“Sharnie and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre have been terrific, as have the very clever people from Canterbury, but this whole idea has been player driven,” Plumb said.
“A working group of our Indigenous players and club leaders have worked closely on this for some time with Sharnie and ensuring our club values are well represented on the jersey.
“This isn’t a one-off – both our men’s teams and our women’s team will wear these throughout the rest of the season and we’d like that to be the case going forward.”
Taroona will tackle fellow heavyweights Devonport (Premiership) and Launceston (Championship) what shapes the weekend’s hottest double-header while Glenorchy host Hobart Harlequins at Eady Street.
Sandy Bay will see a swathe of games across Hutchins War Memorial Oval (Hobart Lions v Launceston) and University Oval (Uni v Burnie & Women’s Sevens carnival) while Eastern Suburbs welcome the Emus to North Warrane for the final Championship fixture.
Tasmanian Juniors also kicks off this weekend with further information available via the Tasmanian Rugby Union Juniors Facebook page.