The meaning behind the Olympic FC Indigenous ball device

Olympic FC
National Reconciliation Week 2020
Today marks the beginning of National Reconciliation Week (NRW) for 2020.

NRW is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

Olympic Football Club proudly embraces Indigenous culture and promote it through our Nabei Indigenous Education program in local schools.

The program uses play-based learning to develop understanding, appreciation and respect of and for the Indigenous cultures that shape our shared history and lay the platform for progress in reconciliation.

Our 2020 playing kits feature an Indigenous ball device on the back of the jersey. Phil Canham, who designed the symbol explains the meaning below.

The stylised football in this design represents passion and unity through football. The ball itself consists of six x-ray style panels coming together to form the centre point of the ball, or the ‘heart’ of the ball, where passion is generated. The six panels represent the six parts of our club: senior football, NPL, community, Girls FC, Little Olympians, and the Ability Inclusive Program.

The dot work on the outside represents the entire community of Olympic FC, who create the unity we require to be successful. Dots are different sizes to represent the knowledge that we accept people of all sizes, shapes, backgrounds, and abilities. Without this community, we would be nothing.
I chose to create this logo using the x-ray pattern that my ancestors used, and which is a common technique in east coast Indigenous art. It pays homage to the elders of all nations, and is a call to arms for us all to recognise the strength of our culture. The dot work is a reflection of the popular Papunya style of Indigenous art, which is now instantly recognisable as uniquely Indigenous.
My overarching message in this design is simple: when community comes together, we create something special. Football has been a constant force for good in my life, and I truly believe in the power  of the football community to be a force for good in the world.

To learn more about National Reconciliation Week head to: