The Perth Mint is a proud funding member of the Gold Industry Group’s sponsorship of Netball WA, West Coast Fever, and Shooting Stars, and this year’s annual NAIDOC Week competition brought together a record 122 teams with the dazzling medals awarded to the most valuable players across all divisions.
Mr Bynder is a professional artist who worked closely with the Mint to develop the design which he says is a celebration of the NAIDOC Netball Carnival and its role in bringing young people together in “warrior mode” to compete.
His design is packed with meaning, including circles in the centre representing the netball clubs gathering to play; U shapes as a symbol representing women and girls; boomerangs symbolising hunting and competition (they are also used traditionally as tapping sticks as part of celebrations); and lines around the edge are songlines or pathways that represent ancestors – the players and supporters who have come before to build the clubs and this competition.
“The symbols are universal among Indigenous artists across Australia, but I put my own interpretation on them to tell a story for the NAIDOC Netball Carnival,” Mr Bynder said.
The MVP medals come with a card that features another of Mr Bynder’s designs – representing the theme “Succeeding no matter what”.
Netball WA General Manager – Community Netball Liz Booth said the Carnival was an opportunity to showcase and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander netballers.
“This growing annual event is a terrific way to celebrate the skills, history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander netballers, as well as provide a platform to increase physical participation, health awareness and education outcomes,” Ms Booth said.
The Perth Mint Chief Sustainability Officer Stephanie Ward said sponsorship of the NAIDOC Netball Carnival was an important part of efforts by the Mint and the wider gold industry to strengthen connections with the Aboriginal community.
“This sponsorship represents our ongoing commitment to reconciliation, and our aim to elevate young people, especially women and girls, and encourage them to be the best they can be, both in terms of their personal growth and the career opportunities available to them,” Ms Ward said.
The Gold Industry Group’s activation was again popular this year, with participants creating their own Indigenous design on its signature #heartofgold hat. The winning design is set to be produced as a special edition.
Gold Industry Group CEO Rebecca Johnston said the unique Indigenous MVP coins and the creative hat design competition were a great way for participants to connect with Aboriginal culture.
“We are proud to bring Indigenous culture to life through our support of the Carnival and by engaging everyone involved with something special to remember the experience,” Ms Johnston said.
The Gold Industry Group’s principal partnership with Netball WA is championed by members Gold Fields, Northern Star Resources, AngloGold Ashanti Australia, St Barbara Limited, Gold Road Resources, Ramelius Resources and The Perth Mint.