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Yuin artist Richard Campbell creates Sydney's Marn Grook guernsey

Jackson Clark -

Sydney has released its 2024 Marn Grook jumper, designed by the uncle of former player James Bell.

The design was created by proud Yuin artist Richard Campbell during cultural sessions with children from the Swans’ ARA First Nations Foundation in Shellharbour.

It features Gunyu, the black swan, with the swan’s feathers transforming into an elder, Gumaraa, meaning wise old man.

The Elder is a warrior of his people and he is reflecting on the past, present and future of his country.

Sydney’s iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge are depicted, representing the present and the future, which are built on Gumaraa’s homelands.

The Aboriginal warriors spearing fish represent the past and present Swans players and the two hands on the back of the guernsey represent coming together and connection.

Campbell spoke to the Sydney Swans media team about the design.

“The main element is my totem the black swan – we call him Gunyu – that’s my mother’s totem,” Campbell said.

A close-up look at Sydney's 2024 Marn Grook guernsey, which will be worn during Sir Doug Nicholls Round. (Image: Sydney Swans)

“(We’ve) got the old fella there on the back, he’s looking back on country and what it was like in the past, then you’ve got the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is the future.

“The four circles represent unity and the tribes coming together from all over to play for the Sydney Swans.”

Campbell’s nephew, James Bell played 28 games for the Swans over five seasons and he said that he ‘loved’ his uncle’s design.

“My first impression was that I loved the design – I think he’s killed it,” Bell said.

“I was trying to get him to do it for years, but now that he’s done it, he’s set the bar pretty high.

“I’ve always been a big fan of Uncle Richard’s art and it’s good that he’s getting to do this here.”

Bell said that it was an honour to play for the Swans, particularly during Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

“Like Uncle Richard has touched on, I’ve got supporters all over the coastline that loved seeing me run out in the red and white," he said.

“Every time that round (Sir Doug Nicholls Round) came about I was always passionate and always tried to represent my mob.”

The ARA First Nations Foundations program offers Indigenous youth aged 11 to 18 the chance to participate in sports activities while also fostering culture and community connections.

This includes regular training sessions and educational programs focussing on culture, and workshops on mental health.

The jumper will be worn when Sydney face Carlton in Round 10 at the SCG, and again the following week when the Swans meet the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium.

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