Saturday afternoon will see North Melbourne players pull on 'Kangaroo Way' for the second time this season in celebration of Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Designed by Wemba Wemba, Gunditjmara, Ngadjonji and Taungurung artist Emma Bamblett, it's the men's side's 11th Indigenous guernsey and incorporates North Melbourne’s traditional royal blue and white stripes as the base and kangaroo tracks throughout to represent the journey of the club.

The custom began 10 years ago, when Dreamtime at the 'G opponents Essendon and Richmond were joined by the rest of the competition in rolling out special designs for the round.

Here we've gone through each of the designs the Kangaroos have worn since.

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2014 - 'Our Icon'

North Melbourne players first donned an Indigenous guernsey in Round 11, 2014 during their trip to Perth to face West Coast. The jersey, titled 'Our Icon,' was created by Gurindji artist Sarrita King.

The design features arrow-like symbols representing kangaroo paw prints to denote travel, and circles symbolising tribes, campsites, and communities, representing unity at the club.

The central kangaroo paw within the oval signifies the North Melbourne community coming together on the field.

In that match, the Roos emerged victorious, defeating West Coast by 38 points, thanks to a balanced effort with nine different players scoring goals.

Since it was worn during an away game, the guernsey was used again the next week when North Melbourne triumphed over Richmond by 28 points.

2015 - 'Our Icon II'

The next season, Sarrita introduced 'Our Icon II,' which featured similar design elements but was modelled on the Roos' home guernsey, incorporating blue stripes on white.

During the Indigenous Round (known as such until 2016), Collingwood trailed the Kangaroos by 39 points at half-time, but kicked 13 of the next 17 to cruise home by three goals.

The guernsey was also worn the following week in Hobart, where Shaun Higgins’ impressive performance of 22 disposals and four goals led the Roos to a 10-point victory over eventual Grand Finalists, West Coast.

2016 - 'Bloodlines'

In 2016, Sarrita collaborated with her sister Tarisse to create the 'Bloodlines' guernsey, which portrays the landscape from an aerial perspective.

The design is split into two parts, with the 'bloodline' running through the middle to represent Sarrita and Tarisse's connection to each other and to the land.

In Sir Doug Nicholls Round, North Melbourne narrowly fell to Sydney, despite a standout performance from Lindsay Thomas, who booted three goals.

The guernsey was worn again in Hobart, where the Kangaroos dominated Richmond, winning by 70 points, driven by Daniel Wells’ impressive 29 possessions and three majors.

2017 - 'Tribal'

The following year, Sarrita collaborated with Kokatha and Wirangu man Lindsay Thomas, Warramunga man Jed Anderson, and Wirangu and Wangkatha man Daniel Wells in the design process.

Using the beloved ‘Bounding Roo’ as a foundation, the players worked with Sarrita to incorporate what was important to them into the design.

During Sir Doug Nicholls Round, the Roos challenged Carlton and maintained a lead at every quarter, eventually securing a 17-point victory.

Although the Blues briefly took the lead three minutes into the final quarter, North Melbourne responded by scoring five of the last seven goals to claim the four points.

2018 - 'Origins'

'Origins' was designed by Tarisse King, marking her first solo project for North Melbourne after previously collaborating with her sister Sarrita.

Tarisse's design depicts a river winding through communities, symbolising the club's football talent. The river flows into an Indigenous kangaroo, representing the club where these communities unite.

The design features the names of past and present Indigenous players from the club, including Winston Abraham, Jed Anderson, and Jy Simpkin.

On matchday, North Melbourne trounced Brisbane by 54 points at Marvel Stadium, with 14 different players contributing to the goal tally, led by Jack Ziebell who snagged three.

2019 - 'Totem'

Designed by Gunmok woman and artist Lorraine Kabbindi White, this jumper features the totems of each Indigenous player at the club.

The design includes the honey ant (Jed Anderson), goanna (Paul Ahern), and water (Kyron Hayden), as well as the 'Rainbow Serpent' or 'Ngalyod' in Western Arnhem Land.

'Ngalyod' is a powerful being that emerged from beneath the earth, creating mountains and gorges as it surfaced. Arden Street is also depicted as a blue oval, symbolising a deep waterhole where 'Ngalyod' resides.

North Melbourne won all its matches in which they wore the 'Totem' jumper. They secured a 25-point victory over the Western Bulldogs in Brad Scott's final game as coach, and under Rhyce Shaw, they registered a 37-point win over eventual premiers, Richmond.

2020 - 'Never Surrender'

The background illustrates the merging of freshwater and saltwater countries, symbolising the unity of diverse cultures.

The boomerang and spears symbolise strength, resilience, and the celebration of survival.

In Sir Doug Nicholls Round, North Melbourne lost by 30 points to Collingwood, who went on to become semi-finalists.

2021 AFLW

Created by Yamatji Martu artist Emma Macneill, this guernsey embodies the themes of "inclusion, community, and belonging."

Macneill collaborated with Jawoyn woman Mia King, Dja Dja Wurrung woman Kaitlyn Ashmore, and Yorta Yorta man Jy Simpkin, all prominent North Melbourne players, during the design process.

The kangaroo paw flower symbolises the resilience of the women at the club, while the boomerangs represent the men's team supporting and empowering the women.

Wearing this jumper, the Roos kicked five goals in the final quarter to secure a 22-point victory over Carlton in Launceston.

2021 - 'Our Mob'

'Our Mob', also designed by Emma Macneill, symbolises the Indigenous men and women of the club following the paths laid by past legends.

The kangaroo in the centre represents the male players and those who have supported the club over the years.

On either side are the female Roos, the trailblazers, the women who are the club’s pillars of courage and represent its progressive nature.

The joeys symbolise opportunities for success and 'our babies' who maintain the passion for the game, while the circle represents the club as a whole.

When this jumper was worn, North Melbourne narrowly lost to St Kilda.

2022 AFLW

The previous season's design was brought back in a blue colorway for the Kangaroos' game against Collingwood at North Hobart Oval in late February.

North Melbourne took an early lead wearing the jumper, but Collingwood remained within striking distance until Mia King, one of the design contributors, weaved through several defenders before slotting the sealer.

Jasmine Garner was the standout player of the match, recording 26 disposals and three goals, leading the Roos to a 23-point victory.

2022 - 'Marram'

Designed by Wurundjeri and Dja Dja Wurrung artist Ky-ya Nicholson Ward, the guernsey was worn by both the club's men's and women's teams for the first time.

The word 'Marram' signifies Kangaroo in the Woiwurrung language, spoken by the Wurundjeri people. Nicholson Ward explained that the Kangaroo facing forward symbolises progress and positivity.

The guernsey also features 19th century Wurundjeri artist William Barak's men and women symbols, a kangaroo pawprint to represent the First Nations players' respective journeys, and a meeting place to represent Arden Street.

It was worn against Narrm (Melbourne), St Kilda and Gold Coast in the men's competition, and against Adelaide and Geelong (twice) in the women's competition.

2023 - 'Connecting Through Identity'

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Designed by Wemba Wemba, Gunditjmara, Ngadjonji and Taungurung artist Emma Bamblett, the latest guernsey was inspired by "yarning to all the players and a key interest in where they come from".

At its core lies a depiction of a football field adorned with the Aboriginal flag, while waterways and kangaroo tracks symbolise the journeys of players like Simpkin, and Phoenix Spicer from their respective Countries to North Melbourne.

The back of the guernsey showcases each player's totems: the long-necked turtle for Simpkin, and the barramundi for Spicer.

2023 AFLW - 'Connecting Through Identity'

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In the same year as the men's 'Connecting Through Identity' design, Emma also created a separate piece for the women's team, which drew on the same inspiration.

The back of the guernsey features symbols connected to the players and where they come from, including a coolamon on the left and a figure of a female on the right.

The design also pays respect to the Wurundjeri people, the traditional owners of the land on which Arden Street Oval sits, with the Bunjil soaring high over the hills and waterways at the bottom of the guernsey.

The jumper was worn for the first time in thrilling nine-point win over the Cats, before being donned again later in the season against Yartapuulti/Port Adelaide.

2024 - 'Kangaroo Way'

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Emma's latest design is titled 'Kangaroo Way' and was inspired by the club’s First Nations players, including Yorta Yorta man Jy Simpkin and Wangkathaa Noongar man Robert Hansen Jr, the unity of the club, and its existence on Wurundjeri Country. 

It incorporates North Melbourne’s traditional royal blue and white stripes as the base and kangaroo tracks throughout to represent the journey of the club.

Four kangaroos are featured on the front to represent a mob of kangaroos, drawing parallels to the club. They are placed throughout facing in different directions, again representing the club’s journey. 

The side wore it in the Round 10 loss to Essendon but will pull it on again in Round 11 against Yartapuulti/Port Adelaide in Hobart and later in the season against the Suns to celebrate NAIDOC Week.

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