Western Bulldogs acknowledge that we work, train and play on the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation. We offer our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
As far back as the 1870s, football has been the beating heart of Footscray. Its football club, the Western Bulldogs, has been synonymous with the land west of the Maribyrnong River, from the days as an industrial borough to the increasingly gentrified streets we see today.
The Western Bulldogs are represented by four elite men’s and women’s football teams, participating in the AFL, VFL, AFLW and VFLW competitions. The Bulldogs have won two AFL premierships (1954 and 2016), one AFLW premiership (2018) and two VFL premierships (2014 and 2016).
However, the Western Bulldogs are more than a football club to the people in and of our community. We have a long and proud history as the community club of the AFL, including delivering innovative and engaging programs through our Community Foundation, which provide real outcomes for the people living and working in our backyard and broader regions.
We are located at Whitten Oval in West Footscray, and also have a presence with an office in Ballarat. Our home base is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar redevelopment, which will enhance opportunities for the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation to provide First Nations and cultural programs, and for the Club to honour the Traditional Owners of the land and their connection to Country as the updated facility comes to life.
The Club employs 213 people, including four staff members, four AFL players, one AFLW player, five VFL players, two VFLW players and one board member who identify as First Nations people. Historically the Club have not collected identification information from our members and fans, however we are in the process of adding a question into all of our membership and engagement forms to begin understanding the First Nations representation within our Club community.
Our geographical reach extends throughout Victoria, particularly through the west of Melbourne and the western corridor to the South Australia border. That reach extends across the country through our members, fans and supporter groups in different states.
Through participation in the AFL and AFLW competitions, and the work of our Community Foundation, our sphere of influence is truly national. The Club’s presence through its digital platforms elevates this reach even further and is a crucial communication tool for the Club as it aims to enhance its education of First Nations peoples, cultures and histories.
The Western Bulldogs have a strong and unwavering commitment to supporting reconciliation for First Nations people and all Australians.
Our vision for reconciliation is to build a culture of equality, respect and recognition of the cultures, histories and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians, and to stand as a beacon to the community around us. This includes creating an inclusive and diverse workplace, where shared history is acknowledged, negative stereotypes are removed, and the road forward is clear, using our unique reach and influence to light the way to a better and brighter future for all Australians.
Possessing a strong societal voice, we will use our influence in sport to educate our members and fans, staff, players, partners and other stakeholders about First Nations cultures, to create an environment of inclusiveness and harmony for all Australians.
We strive to be a national leader on the road to reconciliation, a strong advocate for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander matters of national significance, and a Club which celebrates the achievements of First Nations people.
We launched our second Innovate RAP in December 2023, which focuses on community engagement and connection, relationships, and education for internal and external stakeholders.
The RAP acts as a public commitment and is published on Reconciliation Australia’s website as well as the Club’s website here.
For the first time in the Club’s history, the Club’s RAP Working Group are undertaking a formalised EOI process, seeking two separate Aboriginal artists who would like to collaborate with the Club to co-design our Indigenous Round guernseys for 2025 and 2026.
The RAP Working Group acknowledges that the artwork creation should involve a First Nation Artist in consultation with the RAP Committee, and past and current First Nation’s players. A collaborative approach will ensure shared knowledge and stories, which aim to represent the Club’s ongoing journey towards reconciliation.
The successful design will be proudly worn across all four of our playing lists – AFL, AFLW, VFL and VFLW in the given year - and will also be used across other promotional products and design elements supporting AFL and AFLW Indigenous rounds, and NAIDOC Week. The artist will spend time with key stakeholders across the Club, including our RAP Working Group, and past and present Indigenous players to ensure that the design is representative of both our Club and our community.
The RAP Working Group acknowledges the importance of collaboration of local Nations in this process. The artist selected will have a connection to, or reside in, the western region of Victoria including Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Wadawurrung, Gunditjmara, Djab Wurrung and Jardwadjali Country.
The Western Bulldogs invite you to submit your interest in the development and design of a mutually agreeable story and creative design for the Club’s 2025 and 2026 Indigenous guernseys - see Submission Requirements and Terms and Conditions below.
Once the chosen artist(s) are selected, the collaboration process will commence. The chosen artist(s) will then complete the design process using the required design tools and templates by the set deadline - refer to Timing below.
Please note that the Club will work together with the successful artist in the lead up to the AFL and AFLW Indigenous Rounds to find suitable times for story-telling and promotional purposes.
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org providing up to 5 (maximum) examples of previous artwork – please send all examples of work in one email.
- Contemporary and/or traditional art forms are acceptable.
- Submissions should be accompanied by a short supporting Artist Statement of up to 1,000 words (maximum). Artists are encouraged to include details of organisations, charities, and community work in their Artist Statement.
- Deadline: Submissions close COB Friday 8 March 2024.
- All submissions will be reviewed by the Club’s RAP Working Group. The successful artist will be notified via email and phone.
- The artist fee/commission is confidential and payable to the artist upon acceptance of the completed artwork.
- The legal title to the artwork (ownership) will be with Western Bulldogs.
- The artist is required to sign a copyright waiver and confidentiality agreement.
- The artwork is not to infringe anybody’s intellectual property or cultural rights.
- The successful artist should be available for PR activities (if applicable) in the lead up to and during Indigenous Rounds for both the AFL and AFLW Programs (dates and activities to be confirmed but may include involvement in player related promotions etc.).
- Further, the artist agrees that the elements and all of the design may be used across other communications pieces, including but not limited: game day, signage, lighting, merchandise, collateral, website, social media, PR etc.
Expressions of interest open
Monday 19 February 2024
Monday 19 February 2024
Expression of interest deadline
Friday 8 March 2024
Friday 8 March 2024
11-22 March 2024
11-22 March 2024
Successful artist(s) notified
by 29 March 2024
by 29 March 2024
Deadline for guernsey design
Friday 10 May 2024
Friday 28 June 2024
Indigenous guernsey launch
Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round
Late May 2025
Late May 2026
AFLW Indigenous Round
September / October 2025
September / October 2026
Click on each guernsey for further information on the design.
Please email your completed EOI (including examples of artwork and artist statement) to email@example.com by the EOI deadline date & time.
Any other queries can be directed to:
People & Culture Manager and RAP Chair