In a first for state women’s cricket, the ACT Meteors will debut their Indigenous uniforms this weekend.
Wiradjuri woman, painter, woodworker and pencil artist Kalara Gilbert has been passionate about creating vibrant artworks depicting landscapes, plants and native animals that pay homage to Country since she was just five years old.
Kalara said she was thrilled to be asked to use her talents to design an Indigenous uniform for the Meteors cricket team.
Previously, she designed an Indigenous kit for Netball ACT.
“It was really exciting to be involved in this project,” Kalara said.
“I’m a big advocate for community sport and particularly women’s sport, so I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of this.”
Kalara said the design incorporated Lake Burley Griffin, Gang Gang cockatoos and the Brindabella mountain tops.
“My inspiration came from Country,” she said.
“Cricket ACT chose the bright and beautiful colours and then I used acrylic paints to paint my designs on the shirts.
“I like to wait for the image to come to me and paint what I see based on my surroundings, rather than thinking about something or imagining something.”
Kalara said the project had taken two weeks to complete.
“I began by making a rough mock-up,” she said.
“At first I just sketched out the design and checked to see if they were happy with it to go ahead.
“Then I painted the base colour and then it was just a matter of painting each individual segment – the Gang Gang cockatoos were last as I wanted them to stand out over the rest of the design.”
The Canberra artist said she felt privileged to be involved in the project.
“It’s so special,” she said.
“I’m all for opportunities to show how brilliant women are at sport and other areas.
“I’d absolutely love to design more uniforms and I do have a couple of school-based projects on the way in 2023.
“I really just want to keep getting my art out there.”
ACT Meteors captain Katie Mack said she was looking forward to wearing the new uniform in the game against South Australia this Sunday (18 December) at Manuka Oval.
“I’m very proud and I think it’s very inspirational for the girls to come up with this idea,” Katie said.
“I’m pretty sure we’re the first team in the WNCL to do this, so we’re definitely leading the way and that’s the way we like to think ACT cricket is working.
“We’ve had quite a big break and to get to come back to a home game and then get to wear the First Nations jersey is going to be quite special.”
Cricket ACT board member Dixie Crawford said unveiling the Meteors’ home playing shirt was an important first step in the governing body’s reconciliation journey.
“This artwork tells an important story about our Meteors and cricket in the nation’s capital and region,” she said.
“Kalara has done a magnificent job of telling the story of the team, organisation and cricket community, including representation of our 11 players within a team, the travel lines of our players from different states, Lake Burley Griffin, the Brindabellas, and family always watching and supporting our players.
“The artwork on the players’ shirts will also be the artwork that is used within our Reflect RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan) and it is a piece we are extremely proud of and excited to unveil and see our players wearing on the field.”