The discovery of the Carlton jumper for the Indigenous Round in 2022 revealed a special level of family ties and a distinctive history of the club.
Shana Kelet, artist and great-granddaughter of Sir Doug Nichols’ namesake, said it was a great honor for her to be approached by this year’s Blues Guernsey, in consultation with players and families of indigenous clubs to reflect their shared history in her design.
“We have included in her group their (players) clan or their totem group,” she said.
“Next to the diamond shield symbol, which reflects my connection to the club and my great-grandfather’s connection to the club.
The blue dots across the design represent the waterways in the Carlton area and the reconciliation or “cleansing” between the club, its players and the Nichols family.
“I think this one in particular was very special because of the history of reconciliation at Carlton Football Club.” Mrs. Kelet said.
After several games in reserve, Nichols faced a level of discrimination in the Blues, which deprived him of any opportunity to play senior football with the club.
Carlton’s confession to this offense was accepted by the family in 2015 before embarking on working together to create a more inclusive future for all.
She said the continued involvement of families through several generations helped “unite people from all walks of life.”
“Now it’s almost a full circle,” she said.
“Reconciliation is something I’ve been doing since I thought I was a little kid, when instead of sharing, I’d prefer to talk to talk about our indigenous culture.”
Despite strong ties, the opportunity arose without undue pressure.
“I was even more excited,” Ms. Kelet said.
“He was my idol all my life, I grew up and learned about him.
“I wanted to somehow follow in his footsteps.”
One of the factors of her work is her ability to make positive changes.
Along with Guernsey, Ms. Kellett recently contributed to the design of the scarf with the Blue Illusion fashion store. In partnership with World Vision Australia part of all sales will go to first nation programs.
“I think there’s something special about expressing your thoughts and expressing what’s going on around you in Aboriginal art, and learning and practicing Aboriginal art in a way that’s clearly respectful,” she said.
“It’s like talking about learning more about Aboriginal culture.”
Mrs. Kellet’s great-grandfather played for Fitzroy 54 games before they moved north to Queensland.
The Blues will end in a design by Ms. Kellett for Sir Doug Nichols ’round match against Sydney on May 20th.