Renowned Australian Aboriginal artist, Susie Betts, created the vibrant and culturally significant artwork for the jumper, which will be on show against Greater Western Sydney at Adelaide Oval in Round 10.
The design features a crow in full flight on a navy blue base, surrounded by red, gold and white circles and dots. The jumper also features the ‘R’ RECOGNISE logo, which represents the Club’s ongoing commitment to Reconciliation in Australia.
Susie is the sister of Eddie’s father, Eddie Betts the second.
Their family belongs to the Wirangu people, as well as the Kokata and Mirning communities on the far West Coast of South Australia.
In the Wirangu culture, the crow is called ‘Garnga’ and plays an important role spiritually as a messenger and healer.
“This design represents a culture that is thousands and thousands of years old. We’re sharing the story of the Garnga and what it means to us,” Susie said.
“We wanted to have the right elements in the design, so that it represents something very strong, not just for our family and our culture, but for the Crows, supporters and everyone else it effects.
“We have the crow or the Garnga in the centre. The circles and the dots are talking about the realm that the Garnga belong to spiritually. The swell down the bottom of the jumper is about the power and the magic that heals.
“It’s a very special design. It will be an empowering moment to see Eddie wearing the jumper and representing his family, his culture and his background.
“And to see all the players wear it – wow! It will be fantastic.”
Eddie showed his Auntie Susie, father Eddie and Nanna Veda the finished product for the first time in Port Lincoln during the week.
The All Australian forward said he was looking forward to pulling on the jumper as part of the inaugural ‘Sir Doug Nicholls Round’ under lights at home on Saturday, May 28.
“The round is a very important round not just for Indigenous people, but non-Indigenous people as well,” he said.
“Going through all the AFL clubs, every team has a different design and different story. You learn a lot about different cultures around Australia.
“This is a significant one as well. It’s a story about our family, our culture and Garnga – the magic man. It’s a powerful message.
“Knowing that I’ve got this jumper on that my Auntie designed, and all our players are putting it on as well to represent the Adelaide Football Club, will be something special.”
Crows Chief Executive Officer Andrew Fagan praised the jumper design.
“Susie Betts has done a fantastic job with this year’s Crows Indigenous jumper design, which is both eye-catching and culturally significant,” Fagan said.
“As a football club we really value Indigenous Round and during fixture discussions we made it a key request to the AFL that we hosted a game at Adelaide Oval that weekend.
“The game versus Greater Western Sydney will be a great occasion and a celebration of Indigenous culture.”
It will be the fourth time the Crows have worn a specially-designed jumper in Indigenous Round.
The previous two jumpers were designed by Adelaide and AFL legend Andrew McLeod, with help from artist Laurie Nona in 2015. It will also the third straight year the Club has hosted a game in Indigenous Round.
It’s not the first time Susie Betts has created a design on the national stage. Susie designed (under Balarinji Designs) the 'Nalanji Dreaming' Qantas 747 plane.
If you are interested in seeing more of Susie's work you can view it here or you can visit her Facebook page: ‘Wiyana Spirit’.
This article first appeared on the Adelaide Football Club's website.