The Essendon Football Club has proudly revealed its 2024 Dreamtime Guernsey. In the 20th year of the iconic match, the Bombers will wear a guernsey paying homage to the rich traditions of the Tiwi people.

The guernsey will make its debut in Sir Doug Nicholls Round for the Sunday afternoon clash with North Melbourne in round 10, meaning the Bombers will don the special kit twice.

Designed by Tiwi artist Russellina Puruntatameri, the guersney is intricately crafted with symbolic elements, embodying the rich culture of the Tiwi community.

Below, Russellina explains each element of the design;

Outside Design: The guernsey's outer design draws inspiration from a profound Tiwi legend. It narrates the tale of Purrupali, who took his son to the sea (winga) where Wayai, the grieving mother of Japarra, cries every night. This poignant story symbolizes the enduring connection of the Tiwi people to their land, sea, and ancestors. The inclusion of sunrises and sunsets represents the eternal cycle of life and the significance of Arringu (Rock) from Melville and Bathurst islands as protectors of the Tiwi people.

Tex Wanganeen models the 2024 Dreamtime at the 'G guernsey. (Photo: Essendon FC)

Tutini Pole (Pukumani): Embedded within the design are elements of the Pukumani ceremony, a sacred ritual of mourning and remembrance among the Tiwi. The intricate Tutini Pole signifies the culmination of mourning for a deceased person, showcasing the Tiwi community's deep-rooted traditions and reverence for their ancestors.

Male & Female Spears: The guernsey also features ceremonial spears, highlighting their symbolic importance in Tiwi culture. These spears are not merely functional weapons but are integral to ceremonial displays such as the pukamani-mortuary ceremony and the Kularma-sacred yam increase. The differentiation between male and female spears adds another layer of cultural significance to the design.


Tartuwali (Tiwi Islands): "Tartuwali," meaning shark in Tiwi language, represents the Mantiyupi clan group dreaming, a significant aspect of Tiwi identity. Including this symbolism on the guernsey pays tribute to the Tiwi homeland and reinforces the cultural pride of the community. Additionally, the footprints commemorate the 20th anniversary of Michael Long's historic walk to Canberra, signifying unity, resilience, and progress.

The unveiling of Essendon's 2024 Indigenous guernsey underlines the club's commitment to reconciliation, respect, and inclusivity. It serves as a powerful reminder of the diversity and richness of Australia's Indigenous cultures.

While Essendon's 2024 Dreamtime Guernsey isn't available to purchase for reasons listed here, the club is proud to wear and represent its rich Tiwi connection in Sir Doug Nicholls Round.