A visual representation of KGI participant Ky-ya Nicholson-Ward’s Indigenous ancestry will be on display when the Melbourne Vixens run out to play the Queensland Firebirds at the Queensland State Netball Centre on Sunday.

Ky-ya, a 16-year-old Wurundjeri Dja Dja wurung woman from Melbourne was given the opportunity to design the Vixens dress through Netball Victoria’s partnership with KGI.

“For me, designing this dress is helping showcase Aboriginal culture in a positive way,” she said.

“It’s an educational process to work with the (Vixens) players on this dress and it’s helping people to learn about Indigenous culture through sport.”

The dress which is titled Nallei jerring (coming together) was designed in collaboration between Ky-ya, her mother Mandy, PUMA representatives and members of the Melbourne Vixens team.

Kate Moloney, Jo Weston and Liz Watson in the Vixens’ Indigenous dress

Both Ky-ya and Mandy are Indigenous artists with a passion for creativity and storytelling.

Their story, and the sharing of ngagu (knowledge) they have had passed down through generations is illustrated on the dress by horizontal lines across the chest.

The side panel features circles, this symbolizes that culture has no beginning or end. It represents the ripple effect culture has on people and how one person can impact everyone they meet.

Vixens captain, Kate Moloney said her, and her teammates learnt a lot about Ky-ya’s families Indigenous culture throughout the dress making process.

“The dress has so many different elements that come back to and relate to our Vixens values but also Ky-ya’s family and past, she has done an incredible job,” Moloney said.

Also apparent on the dress is 10 Boorimul (Emu) footprints depicted as walking across the durrung (heart) of the Vixens.

The Boorimul steps are symbolic because an Emu does not take a backward step. The footprints represent each player in the Vixens squad and how they can look forward to the future.

Finally, the triangle lines on the bottom half of the dress represent balit (strength) and standing together with unity.

“Hopefully this dress can help more Indigenous people come through sport because they feel more included and a part of something,” Ky-ya Nicholson-Ward said.

The Melbourne Vixens currently sit third on the Super Netball ladder.