As the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys bravely contested the opening match of Indigenous Round on Thursday night, Indigenous artist Luke Duffy's striking Cowboys Indigenous jersey design drew admiration from the rugby league world.
The Kalkadoon artist's design, entitled "Reef meets land" is representative of the iconic Great Barrier Reef and the beautiful Outback and won the club's 2018 Indigenous jersey design competition to be featured on the jerseys.
The jersey exclusively features the Cowboys Community Foundation branding in the sternum position, thanks to a generous donation by major partner Diageo Australia.
Now members and supporters have the opportunity to secure their own piece of Cowboys history, while supporting the important work of the Cowboys Community Foundation in improving education outcomes for young Indigenous North Queenslanders.
The Cowboys' 17 player-signed, match-worn Indigenous jerseys from the Round 10 match will be auctioned from 12pm, Friday 11 May until 12pm, Monday 21 May.
Proceeds from the auction will go towards NRL Cowboys House, a purpose-designed, culturally respectful and supportive facility giving Indigenous students (aged 12 to 18) from remote and regional North Queensland communities the opportunity to access quality secondary education options in Townsville.
The House is a joint initiative between the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, National Rugby League and State and Australian Governments and is home to 50 students in 2018.
NRL Cowboys House is managed by the Cowboys Community Foundation, the charity arm of the North Queensland Cowboys, with financial and other support from the NRL.
Meanwhile, judging for the 2019 Cowboys Indigenous jersey design competition is well underway after the Cowboys community team received a record number of entries this year.
The winning design will feature on the 2019 Cowboys Indigenous jersey, and it's an initiative former Cowboy and competition judge Ray Thompson said he's honoured to be part of.
"It's a really tough process as so many great artists submitted their work. It made me feel really proud of the cultures represented in North Queensland," Thompson said.
Cowboys General Manager of Community Fiona Pelling said the club competition is something the club is proud to host.
"We are thrilled with the response for this year's competition, and we'd like to thank everyone who submitted their entries," Pelling said.
"Each year it gets harder to choose our winner – there are many talented Indigenous artists within our community and we're pleased to support them this way."
The winning design will be announced with the reveal of the 2019 Cowboys Indigenous jersey as part of next season's preparations.