Joe-Boys take great pride in the meaning and purpose of the College uniform. It is with equal pride and consideration that the College has presented a new addition to our sporting uniform.
St Joseph’s College sportsmen proudly donned the inaugural Indigenous jerseys in the Firsts rugby and football games. Hwi Sharples (Y12) and Nicholas Burnett (Y12), the Firsts rugby and football captains respectively, accepted the jerseys on behalf of their sides at a special assembly to mark National Reconciliation Week.
Old Boy Isaiah AhSee (2021) and Kylie Tarleton (mother of Cooper (2018) and Mackai (Y12)) were instrumental with the design and process, in collaboration with our Indigenous students. They were welcomed as special guests to the assembly. They shared the finer details of ‘the journey to the jersey’, about how it was brought to life and how it has started a rich new tradition at the College.
All students heard about the importance and significance of wearing this significant item. Isaiah explained the journey and the meaning behind the beautiful design.
“The initial idea was to honour our ongoing commitment to Reconciliation. Above all, we wanted the jersey to be deeply meaningful to the Indigenous students at Joeys as well as reflect our connection to the Wallamuttegal people; we wanted to draw on the College’s love of sport and combine it with our respect for Indigenous culture. These jerseys are now part of our many rich traditions – and together we will all witness the beginning of this new tradition. It represents Reconciliation and it speaks of a school that respects and is proud of its diverse culture. As an Indigenous Old Boy, I am proud to have been part of this journey.
“Our Indigenous jersey is significant to us all. Sport is a long-running tradition here at Joeys, so it is important that our Aboriginal culture be represented through the student artwork displayed on the jersey. It is critical our Indigenous jersey have purpose and meaning and not just be created simply to look good. We all – Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples – must understand the story of the artwork and jersey. You may notice that the snapper fish, the symbol of the Wallamuttegal people, is strategically placed under the Joeys crest. You can also see that the totem and songlines are travelling up towards both the crest and the snapper fish.
“Whether Indigenous or not, we all have one thing in common in this place: we are Joe-Boys. In the classroom, in the dorms, in the stands and for life after we walk out the College gates. I will always be a proud Indigenous Old Boy of Joeys,” Isaiah emphasises.
Football First XI Captain Nicholas Burnett (Y12) leads his side out in the Inaugural Indigenous jersey.
“It is amazing these boys will pull on the jerseys for this game. It’s been two years [in development], and we have finally done it. In Year 12, when I was talking to Mr Blake, I mentioned that we should have [an Indigenous jersey]. We have finally been able to take the first steps to represent Reconciliation.
“It means everything to me. My little brother is in Year 7 and for him to be able to watch and see what we can do is special. You’re not representing just the College in this jersey, you are representing Wallamuttegal people. It’s about the meaning, not the look,” says Isaiah.
After being asked about what the jersey meant, he said simply, “everything”.
Our Rugby First XV show their gratitude to supporters following their close loss at Leichhardt Oval against Riverview.