Football West is delighted to reveal the winner of the 2024 NAIDOC Ball Design competition.
Thornlie artist Gertrina Hayden used a match-day experience as the inspiration for her entry.
Her design and the Belt Up road safety message will be printed on 500 Deploy T-spec footballs and unveiled during NAIDOC Week next July.
The balls will be distributed to eligible clubs, schools and community organisations around Western Australia.
The NAIDOC Ball Design competition is a key component of the long-standing partnership between Football West and the Insurance Commission of Western Australia. It is open to members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and celebrates indigenous art while reminding all motorists to wear a seatbelt when travelling on WA roads.
Belt Up is the Insurance Commission’s road safety awareness campaign to promote the importance of wearing a seatbelt every time you get into a vehicle. Last year, 77 people who were not wearing a seatbelt were killed or seriously injured in crashes on WA roads. That is the equivalent of seven football teams. Wearing a seat belt can help you avoid injury or reduce the severity of an injury if you are in a crash.
Gertrina said she used the red, black and yellow of the Aboriginal flag to represent NAIDOC Week and bring people’s attention to the design.
The black panels with white wavy lines and small white dots are travelling lines and the supporters heading to watch the games, while the red area with circles represents the crowds at the stadium.
“The yellow section represents the players with small white dots, and the semi-circles in white reflect the sitting and watching the players,” she said.
“The design is about people travelling to the games, coming together and having a good time,” she said.
Gertrina will receive a $1,000 New Balance voucher plus a set of footballs featuring the winning design.
“I’m very excited about seeing my design on the footballs and hopefully it can encourage indigenous people to play the game,” she said.
Last year’s winning artist Kurt Hindmarsh, Insurance Commission Executive Officer Rebecca Hawkins and Football West Football Operations Coordinator Abid Imam made up the judging panel.
They praised the standard of this year’s entries, with all six artists on the shortlist receiving a 2022 NAIDOC Ball, designed by Mid West artist Darren Ryder.
Insurance Commission General Manager Governance and Stakeholder Relations Alison Wilson said: “Partnering with Football West on the NAIDOC Ball Design competition provides us with the opportunity to directly engage with the football and indigenous communities about the Belt Up message. Distribution of the balls is set to benefit clubs across country areas, where we see a higher proportion of car accident claims from people who were not wearing a seat belt.
“Congratulations to Gertrina on her achievement. We look forward to seeing her striking design on the pitch during NAIDOC Week. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to enter this year’s competition.”
Football West General Manager - Football Perry Ielati said: “The annual NAIDOC Ball Design competition is a hugely important initiative for Football West as we join the Insurance Commission in sharing the Belt Up message through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.
“We know how much our clubs and schools across WA love the NAIDOC balls they receive.
“The standard of this year’s entries was possibly the highest we have seen, which underlines how good Gertrina’s design is. Congratulations to her, she is clearly a very talented artist.”