The meaning behind the Olympic FC Indigenous ball device

Olympic FC

It’s National NAIDOC Week!

National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.

Olympic Football Club proudly embraces Indigenous culture and promote through our Reconciliation Action Program (RAP).

Olympic were the first Football Club or organisation in Australia to be approved for a Reconciliation Action Plan in 2021.

Since 2020 Olympic’s home, away and NAIDOC playing kits have all featured 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, Female Football , 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 NAIDOC Week head to: