Local talent highlights the importance of AFL Indigenous rounds.

May 18, 2024 BY

Kangaroo Jack owner David Zaffina and Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Yalanda Edwards have teamed up to create the football and netball designs being used in AFL Barwon's Indigenous round. Photo: ABBY PARDEW

For the first time Torquay’s very own Kangaroo Jack has created a football and netball to be used in AFL Barwon’s coming Indigenous round.

Established in 2019 by David Zaffina, the business creates merchandise with local artists, including their official Kangaroo Jack X Sherrin Indigenous Football, which Times News Group and The Warm Up are giving away.

Kangaroo Jack is a small local business in Torquay that woks with Indigenous and LGBTIQA+ organisations, to support artists, communities and wildlife conservation projects.

Zaffina said he had been fortunate enough to have good relationships with the artists he’s collaborated with.

“We’ve had an awesome time being able to create new artworks and the beauty of it too is it’s coming together,” he said.

“It’s two allies, there’s an Indigenous component and then a non-Indigenous component coming together because we’re all one people, that’s the idea behind it, to play together as one people.”

David Zaffina started Kangaroo Jack in 2019, creating merchandise with local artists.


In their latest collaboration, Kangaroo Jack has teamed up with Wadawurrung Traditional Owner and Artist Yalanda Edwards, who designed the Indigenous round football and netball.

The balls will be used by AFL Barwon in their coming Indigenous Round running from May 13 until May 19.

Edwards explained the inner circle of the football and netball design represented the sports team that people play for, with the outer circle representing the extended support system of players including coaches and team managers.

The hard work and commitment of players, coaches, and all those involved is also represented with the emu and kangaroo tracks that lead into the circle.

Yalanda Edwards is a Wadawurrung traditional owner and designer of the two game balls.


Green and blue colours were chosen by Edwards as they represent the colours of Wadawurrung Country.

“That’s basically playing homage to our sea, country and our bushlands as well, which predominately make up Wadawurrung Country,” she said.

Edwards’ initiation into football was sparked by her grandfather who introduced her to the sport, and her artistic style and love for painting coming from her grandmother.

“It’s exciting that I get to bring two things that mean the most to me and wrap it into one project and put it out for the local Geelong community and wider community to be able to celebrate,” Edwards said.

The young designer plays for the Belmont Lions, where she will get to use the game ball, and says she is excited to be part of the important day.

“It is something special and is something that should be played with pride, it also represents paying respects to the lands in which we do have the privilege to play football on.”

The match football and netball will be used in AFL Barwon’s Indigenous round.


As part of the AFL’s Doug Nicholls Rounds, Kangaroo Jack will appear on SEN’s The Warm Up on May 25 as they give away some of the Kangaroo Jack footballs.

The radio show, hosted by Matt Worland and Cameron Mooney, broadcasts live from GMHBA Stadium before each Geelong Cats game.

Worland said The Warm Up was excited to have Kangaroo Jack on board for the important round.

“We know how much impact Indigenous players have had on our great game for such a long time, and it’s great to be able to not only acknowledge them over two rounds of AFL, but also with a dedicated round in local football and netball as well.

“The designs on the Sherrin’s look amazing, and they’re a credit to the hard work Yalanda and Kangaroo Jack put into this concept.

“We are looking forward to having them both on the show next weekend and giving away some of the amazing footies.”

As part of the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round Times News Group will be giving away the Kangaroo Jacks Times Sherrin Indigenous Football.


For Zaffina, going on the show is an opportunity to create awareness of the Indigenous rounds and unite people.

“It’s great that with the game of AFL, or football, it doesn’t matter what background you are, or sexual orientation, or religion, it combines everyone together and it’s all coming together for that one cause, our passion for the game,” he said.

“I just hope everyone enjoys playing with it, I can’t wait to see the kids kick it and also throw it around with the netball.”

Zaffina said the Indigenous rounds are very important as there’s still a divide within the country and a lot of work still to be done.

“I want the next generation to not see colour, to see people, that’s the most important thing.

“I play a very small part and there’s other people that have played a bigger part than what I have, but if I can help out in some way to be able to do that, that’s why it’s really special to me.”

Mini versions of the match ball will be available to purchase from Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre, along with the Kangaroo Jack X Sherrin Indigenous Football which is also available online.

For more information, head to kangaroojack.com.au