The journey of life will be a powerful guide for our players on the field and students in their studies through artist Margaret Mara’s stunning 2022 North Queensland Toyota Cowboys Indigenous design.
Margaret’s unique My Journey My Way design will feature on this year’s Cowboys Indigenous jersey, to be worn in NRL Indigenous Round for the clash with the Panthers on Friday 27 May in Penrith.
The design represents strong connections to land and sea and is described by the artist as a celebration of the journey Indigenous peoples embark on from the moment they are born to the time they become the ancestors guiding their peoples.
Design builds club connection
Based in Old Mapoon on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, Margaret is a mother of nine and grandmother of eleven with two children in their senior year at NRL Cowboys House.
Fittingly, NRL Cowboys House students were the first to welcome this season’s design, receiving their official House polo shirts featuring Margaret’s commissioned artwork last week.
The presentation of the shirts was the students’ first opportunity to learn the special powerful meaning behind the custom design and continues an annual tradition for NRL Cowboys House.
NRL Cowboys House General Manager Rochelle Jones said the official shirt presentation is one of the most important dates on the House calendar.
"Seeing our students and staff wearing the new shirt brings such pride and unites us all as one, and having Margaret design the shirt adds a special touch,” she said.
"Margaret holds a special piece of NRL Cowboys House in her heart and to have her design on the shirts reflects our focus on family, community and cultural connection.
“It’s also a very popular item with our House partners and supporters and is a strong symbol of their commitment to our students and reducing distance as a barrier to education.
“Everyone looks forward to receiving their shirt and it’s a fantastic way to start our year.”
Students will also have the opportunity to earn a special singlet version of the shirt as a reward through the House's Cowboys Dollars program.
Margaret Mara said accepting the phone call to commission her as the artist for the Indigenous design “blew her mind”.
“Seeing the Cowboys running out on the field wearing the jersey with my design will be like my artwork coming to life, my story telling itself to all watching,” she said.
“I will feel very proud as an Indigenous artist to be associated with a team that is very involved in the education of our youth.
"It’s also special because of my positive experiences with NRL Cowboys House as my two daughters currently board there, and also being involved with the primary school in Mapoon and seeing firsthand the positive impact the Cowboys have on our students through the Try for 5 program.
"My daughters Larnie and Rahu have always been very supportive of my art...growing up seeing me painting all the time and at times "adding" their own little touches to my work.
"It makes me feel so very special to know that they are proud to wear NRL Cowboys House shirts with their mum’s design on it, and I hope it will be a constant reminder to continue to be positive and determined to reach their goals."
Design story - My Journey My Way
"We as Indigenous people have an affiliation to the land and to the water. Our journey through life is influenced by those affiliations.
"On our journey we encounter so many people who love, guide, teach and influence us. Some of us walk in the footsteps of others, some chose their own path, others walk together and very often our journey is a little bit of each.
"My Journey My Way is a celebration of the journey we embark on from the moment we are born to the time we become the ancestors guiding our peoples."
About the artist
As a mother of nine and grandmother to eleven based in Mapoon, Queensland, Margaret Mara’s work draws inspiration from the immediate events in her life and reflects on many other areas for inspiration; the environment, family stories, living in the Cape, emotions and anything else that has direct effect on her as an individual.
Margaret’s work has been featured in several magazines as well as local joint and solo shows, and she also has paintings in many private, corporate and public collections both nationally and internationally.
Learn more about Margaret’s work through Wei' Num Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts & Crafts.
Make it yours!
The 2022 Cowboys Indigenous jersey will be launched closer to Round 12 and will be on sale through the Cowboys Team Shop.
Members and supporters will also be able to purchase the NRL Cowboys House shirt in the coming months exclusively through the Team Shop, with all proceeds going to the Cowboys Community Foundation.