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Saints player Shane Savage models the guernsey designed by Jason Sheardown and Kahu Douglas

Massey students design Anzac Day AFL guernsey

Two design students will get exposure many professionals can only dream of, when St Kilda AFL players run onto the field at Wellington in front of thousands of fans on Anzac Day, wearing a guernsey the students designed.

Kahu Douglas and Jason Sheardown have designed St Kilda’s 2014 Anzac Day guernsey to be worn by Saints players in the second annual AFL match at the Westpac Stadium.

The pair received the commission through Open Lab, the design research studio at Massey’s College of Creative Arts in Wellington. Students at Open Lab are paid for their work and experience a genuine commercial design environment, while being mentored by recent graduates and college staff. 

Ms Douglas completed her Bachelor of Design (Honours) at the end of 2013, while Mr Sheardown is now in his final year. Their contemporary Maori design emphasises the links between New Zealand and Australia through the Anzac journey, using authentic motifs.

St Kilda’s General Manager – Commercial Projects Ben Davies says the design team at Massey University worked hard to create something powerful and inspiring that the team could wear proudly on Anzac Day. “It is such a significant day between our two countries and this is quite a unique platform to acknowledge this relationship.”

Open Lab Director Anna Brown says: “The themes in the design focus on the ideas of ‘shared waters’ and the Anzac journey, which are represented with strong, simple base form and further elaborated upon through the line work.”

The students and their mentors started by exploring symbolic meaning from a number of relevant Maori myths. From there, the designers abstracted motifs such as the mangopare (hammerhead shark), the Tumatauenga (god of war) and Te Ika a Māui (the fish hook of Māui). Each design motif is linked to tell the narrative of the guernsey and to emphasise New Zealand and Australia’s shared Anzac history.

The design is centered on a plunging white oar shape, which speaks to the Anzac heritage. The back of the guernsey shows the merging paths/journeys of the Anzacs and our countries.

St Kilda will be playing the Brisbane Lions. The guernsey launch coincides with the release of tickets for the Anzac Day game, which are available through Ticketek.


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