Aboriginal artist Elenore Binge has won the privilege of having her custom design featured on the Indigenous All Stars women’s jersey in 2019.
After a one-year hiatus the All Stars match will return when Australia take on the New Zealand Māori’s in February.
To celebrate, the NRL put out a call for artists from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to design the men’s and women’s jerseys.
Elenore entered designs for both the men’s and women’s jerseys in May, and later found out in July her work had been chosen for the women’s side.
This year she was asked by the Parramatta Eels to design their Indigenous jerseys for their clash against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in May.
When designing the artwork for the All Stars jerseys, Elenore wanted to capture both Indigenous cultures of Australia- the Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people.
“At the top of the design I have a Dhari headdress representing the Torres Strait people and then I’ve got mother earth in the middle representing both our cultures.
“I also wanted to incorporate this year’s NAIDOC Week theme ‘because of her, we can’ so I put a woman’s figure in the middle of the design,” she said.
The artwork features traditional Aboriginal colours as well as colours from the Torres Strait Islands flag.
On Wednesday, Elenore was flown to Sydney for a launch party and will again be flown to Melbourne in February to watch the game live. How does she feel? “It’s special, it’s even more special because two Gomeroi women, one from Moree [Laura Pitt] and me from Toomelah, have won the design competition for the men’s and women’s jerseys.
“We also have a cousin Sharon McGrady, selected to play for the women’s All Stars side. We all come from this Gomeroi nation and we will be centre stage to the whole country; I’m proud,” she said.
Elenore has been kept busy teaching Aboriginal art to children from Toomelah, Boggabilla and Goondiwindi at Boggabilla Central School two days a fortnight.
She passes on her knowledge of Aboriginal stories and art to the younger generation coming through.
“My knowledge was passed on to me by my aunties. Our stories come from our Elders and our history gives us an identity.”
On the weekends Elenore and her partner travel to markets, festivals, and around the countryside showcasing her artwork and picking up commissions.
Elenore said Inverell has given her the opportunity to grow her name and brand.
“It’s a lovely little town and everyone is so welcoming.
“I’ve been able to express myself more, be more creative and make new connections and I want to thank the whole community for that,” she said. Elenore can be contact via firstname.lastname@example.org.