The Perth Mint NAIDOC Week netball carnival MVP medals celebrate warrior spirit
(Left to Right) Simone Hansen, CEO, Netball WA, Kevin Bynder, Artist, Winnie Abraham, Djindas Netball Club, Rebecca Johnston, CEO Gold Industry Group and Stephanie Ward, CSO, The Perth Mint.
The 2022 NAIDOC Week Netball Carnival had an additional special touch for its young stars with the medals awarded to the most valuable players each bearing a striking design by Perth-based Whadjuk-Yuet-Ballardong artist Kevin Bynder.
The annual carnival, a celebration of sport and the talents of Western Australia’s Indigenous people, brings together 122 teams across divisions from under-12s to open teams. The Perth Mint produced the MVP medals in its role as a proud funding partner of the Gold Industry Group’s principal partnership with Netball WA.
This year the Mint worked with Kevin to develop the design which he says is a celebration of the NAIDOC carnival and its role in bringing young people together in “warrior mode” to compete.
Kevin is a professional artist whose work ranges from murals for public and private clients to more intimate designs for coins and medals.
His design for the NAIDOC carnival is packed with meaning, including circles in the centre representing the netball clubs gathering to play; U shapes as a symbol representing women and girls; boomerangs symbolising hunting and competition (they are also used traditionally as tapping sticks as part of celebrations) and lines around the edge are songlines or pathways that represent ancestors – the players and supporters who have come before to build the clubs and this competition.
“The symbols are universal among Indigenous artists across Australia, but I put my own interpretation on them to tell a story for the NAIDOC carnival,” Kevin said.
The MVP medals come with a card that features another of Kevin’s designs – representing the theme “Succeeding no matter what”.
The Perth Mint Chief Sustainability Officer, Stephanie Ward, said sponsorship of the NAIDOC Netball Carnival through its membership of Gold Industry Group was an important part of efforts by the Mint and the wider gold industry to strengthen connections with the Aboriginal community.
“This sponsorship represents our ongoing commitment to reconciliation, and our aim to elevate young people, especially women and girls, and encourage them to be the best they can be, both in terms of their personal growth and the career opportunities available to them.”
Netball WA General Manager – Community Netball Liz Booth said the carnival was an opportunity to showcase and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander netballers.
“This growing annual event is a terrific way to celebrate the skills, history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander netballers, as well as provide a platform to increase physical participation, health awareness and education outcomes,” Liz said.
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