An incredible fingerprint artwork stamped onto the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is a central part of the Melbourne Cricket Clubs (MCC) Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The artwork created by Wurundjeri artist Mandy Nicholson, highlights her connection to Wurundjeri land through the use of her fingerprint (NIT, 2022).
Artwork by Mandy Nicholson on the MCG Grounds. Courtesy of NIT, 2022.
The artwork was revealed at an event last month that officially unveiled MCC’s Reconciliation Action Plan. The event celebrated the history and connection of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people of the Kulin Nation to the land where the MCG is located. Wurundjeri Elder, Uncle Ring Terrick led a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony, which was followed by a performance by the Djirri Djirri Dance Group (MCG, 2022).
In MCG’s press release (2022), Melbourne Cricket Club President, Michael Happell, talked about the significance of honouring the Traditional Owners of this Country through their RAP:
“The MCG sits on sacred land…The Melbourne Cricket Club, as the manager of the beating heart of Melbourne – the Melbourne Cricket Ground – wholeheartedly understands the opportunity and responsibility it has in honouring and respecting the Traditional Owners the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people and the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, cultures, histories, languages and their Elders past, present and emerging.”
Through the framework developed by Reconciliation Australia, the MCC will be focussing upon forming meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and using their platform to drive positive change (MCG, 2022). The MCC’s commitment to reconciliation is marked by Mandy Nicholson's meaningful artwork. In MCG’s press release (2022), Nicholson talked about the different elements of her artwork:
“The circle is the focal point of the design. The overall design depicts a fingerprint, my fingerprint, to signify my connection to Wurundjeri Country, connecting me to places…Wurundjeri are a carving culture and the symmetrical lines, circles and wavy lines are all derived from Wurundjeri artefacts.”
It’s great to see sporting organisations acknowledging the Country that they are built upon, and supporting local Indigenous artists. You can learn more about the MCC Reconciliation Action Plan here, and learn about the talented Indigenous artist Mandy Nicholson here.