An indigenous painting depicting Narrandera lit up the Marvel Stadium last night when the Melbourne Renegades took on the Hobart Hurricanes in the inaugural Indigenous Match.
Renegades captain and ex-Narrandera boy Dan Christian wielded a cricket bat featuring Narrandera’s iconic lizard and the Murrumbidgee River.
Students from Narrandera High Schools Clontarf Academy entered a competition to design Dan a bat made by Kookaburra Australia.
Dan handpicked the design without knowing who or where the painting had come from.
“Surprisingly, he picked the Narrandera High Clontarf painting, which is wonderful considering his connection to our town,” Narrandera High principal Marni Milne said. “This is a prestigious honour and great news for the school and the boy’s design.
“Dan has a connection to the Narrandera community so I think he was pretty chuffed with that as well.”
Dan used the bat in the match against Hobart Hurricanes on January 21 at the inaugural Indigenous Match with Clontarf Academy member Adam Irons and operations officer Neville Bamblett on hand to watch the Big Bash League match in Melbourne.
The painting was completed last year by Clontarf students as part of the NSW Local Land Services Riverina indigenous art work project. A team of 12 students, aged from 13 to 16, contributed to the art work under the guidance of Aboriginal elder Richard Gilbert.
Mr Bamblett said the dots symbolised meeting places, culturally significant tracks, the Murrumbidgee River and the Wiradjuri country totem of a lizard.
“We are having fantastic success with our Academy with attendance by our Aboriginal boys close to 90 per cent – that has been rising steadily over the last two years. Last year was the highest Aboriginal student attendance we have ever had.
“Unfortunately it could only be one student and Neville to attend the presentation of the bat.”
As part of the Indigenous Match, the Melbourne Renegades wore shirts with an indigenous design and the team bowled with Kookaburra balls also bearing an Indigenous design.
Dan Christian said Kookaburra Cricket had given the bats for the Indigenous Match a clean slate to allow the Clontarf schools to come up with fresh designs.
Narrandera’s design was shortlisted among entries from Clontarf Academy’s around the nation.
Dan was excited to find out upon selecting the design it was from Narrandera.
“Narrandera! That is where I grew up,” he said. “The colours and design look really cool – the lizard in the middle, the dots and the river coming through it.
“Thanks to everyone from the Clontarf Academy and the Stars Foundation for getting involved in the competition – the entries were fantastic and it was a really difficult decision to come up with the winner.
“I’m looking forward to using the winning design on my bat at the back end of the Big Bash.”