This design of this year’s Indigenous Round guernsey, revealed on Tuesday night at the Western Bulldogs annual Community Foundation dinner, came to 16-year-old Wurundjeri –Yorta Yorta artist, Cooper Craig-Peters in a dream.
Craig-Peters’ Bulldogs roots run deep.
He’s a graduate of both the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation’s Leadership Project (formerly Whitten Project) and Nallei-jerring Koori Youth Leadership Program, and is a member of the Club’s Next Generation Academy, and shared his story back in 2017 through his #RealStrength story on the Dogs website.
“I slept for a couple of hours and in my dream I pictured this guernsey,” he told westernbulldogs.com.au
“I woke up straight away and went straight into the study and started drawing my design up and it came out just perfectly, the way I wanted it to.”
The end result is universal story of a self-discovery expressed through art.
“Each circle represents what I've been through, an important part of me,” Craig-Peters explained.
“The bigger circle represents losing a loved one, achieving something I have never achieved before in my footy, in my academic ability and the little ones are just little goals I've done to change my character
“The white lines are the path that I've gone through to each on, and (the footprints) represent my ancestors, not just mine, our people's ancestors, where they've walked and how we look at them and see where they've been.”
Craig-Peters said he still can’t believe it’s his name that will now join a long list of Indigenous artists who have had their design adorn AFL guernseys on what’s become a significant weekend for both Indigenous people and the wider community in general.
“It's still surreal, I still think I'm dreaming. It feels so great and I feel so warm inside to have my actual design on this guernsey.