The Gold Coast Titans are excited to run out in their 2022 Indigenous jersey, reflecting on the past and looking to the bright future ahead.
The piece of art – magnificently painted by local artist and proud Yurarabul man Kieran Chilcott – symbolises the culmination of 15 years of the club and celebrates the 34 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander players, hailing from 16 different tribunal groups over the journey.
A lifelong fan of the Gold Coast franchise, Chilcott wanted his masterpiece to represent the club and the players who have proudly worn the blue and gold in years gone by, and in years to come.
“The Titans have been close to my heart since they came here to the Gold Coast and having the ability to design the Indigenous jersey and work alongside the club, the players and our community to find something that actually really represents our mobs has been really special and I feel really honoured,” Chilcott said.
“I felt a lot of pressure doing it because I wouldn't typically call myself an artist… it's not something that I do as a day job. I picked up a paintbrush up during COVID and started dotting away.
“I guess getting to this point, working with the club and being able to paint something with meaning was really important for me.
“Talking with Preston Campbell, Brian Kelly and the team at the Titans, but also people within our community about what would be important to be represented made it even easier.
“I was painting for this local area and representing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players of the club and what their imprint has been for our communities, not only just here, but right across Australia.”
15 Years: Discover the story behind the design
As one of the Titans’ most notable founding players and proud Indigenous representative, Campbell is proud to still be involved with the club he finished his illustrious career with.
“One of the great things about the Titans is they're so encouraging of bringing the community together,” Campbell said.
“Even though a lot of players come from different walks of life, they're very encouraging of where the players come from. We're not just talking about Indigenous players; we’ve got women playing now and people with disabilities.
“The fact they're still very happy to showcase Indigenous culture, it's a very proud moment.”
The legendary fullback is also humbled to be recognised on the jersey with his son Jayden, the first of what is hoped to be many second-generation Titans to come.
“You're always happy to have some sort of involvement in the club… even if it's just the stories of Preston Campbell that are around, but to have it earmarked in the painting is pretty special.
“We know what Jayden is capable of as a rugby league player, but as a dad, you're very happy that he's got an opportunity to live his dream, and to be playing football at the same club as I did makes it extra special.
“But when you look at the painting as a whole, it tells a great story of all the Indigenous players that have represented the club and are representing it now.”
The Titans will proudly wear the jersey in Round 12 against the Brisbane Broncos and in Round 13 at home against the North Queensland Cowboys.