The artwork by Yugambeh artist Luther Cora and Larrakia artist Trent Lee was designed to ensure our connection to both the Gold Coast and Darwin is clear and harmonious. The art represents both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and a clear connection to country and the connection between Larrakia and Yugambeh.
Both of the artists have represented the connection to land and sea as saltwater aboriginal men our connection to both country and the sea is important.
Sea turtles have this connection inherently because they always come onto the land to lay their eggs and go back to the sea. They later return to the exact same location to continually birth their offspring, as this is also where their life begun. Just like the sea turtle, we feel most connected to our country where our ancestors and people are from.
The two turtles with different coloured borders on their shell represent the difference between the Larrakia people and the Yugambeh people, but also signify that we are all Saltwater people and our connection to country and the sea is still strong, and that sea turtles are nesting on our beaches.
On the shell of the red turtle the 8 panels acknowledge main Larrakia families with the cross hatch to show the connection within the families.
On the shell of the yellow turtle the panels acknowledge the several tribes and many families that make up the Yugambeh Language Group which covers a large area from the Tweed River to the Logan River and taking in the Hinterland out to the scenic rim.
The SUN which is a key feature of the artwork highlights the red, blue and yellow colours that are synonymous of the traditional custodians of the Gold Coast, the birthplace of the SUNS. The sun is the giver of life, and this sun represents people coming together.
The rings in the background are the different people who live in Australia and that we have AFL to bring us all together. The rainbow serpent can be found in the background as the creator of animals, including the turtle, and the great giver of life and protector of water, which is his spiritual home. The pattern in the fins of the turtles is the dreaming tracks across the vast country.
The names of all 17 indigenous and Torres Straight Islander players that have represented the Gold Coast SUNS are displayed on the back of the guernsey.