AFL club agrees its jumper design was plagiarised – but original artist doesn’t want the teenage designer who took it to be vilified and has given her blessing for club to wear it
- Aboriginal artist shocked when she saw Port Adelaide’s new jumper design
- High school student’s ‘similar’ design was chosen in competition run by club
- But Elle Campbell painted the design in 2019 and said it has family meaning
- Port Adelaide confirmed the guernsey was based on Ms Campbell’s artwork
- She gave Port her blessing for jumper to be worn in the AFL Indigenous round
An AFL club has admitted its jumper for the league’s upcoming Indigenous Round was a plagiarised version of an Aboriginal artist’s handiwork – but the designer doesn’t want the teenager responsible to be vilified.
Aboriginal artist Elle Campbell was stunned when she recognised a painting she made in 2019 was clearly visible in the design of Port Adelaide’s guernsey.
Port had run a competition to design the jersey and chosen the submission of a 17-year-old student who had plagiarised Ms Campbell’s work.
The club on Friday confirmed the artist’s claim.
Port Adelaide’s players (pictured) modelling the game day guernsey they are poised to wear on May 30 in the AFL’s Indigenous Round. The winning design – submitted by a high school student who won a club promotion – was copied
Disbelieving artist Elle Campbell (pictured) took to social media to say a ‘similar’ design to her creation above was unveiled as the club’s jersey choice for the upcoming Aboriginal Round in the AFL
Ms Campbell said she had spoken to the student who copied it and was impressed the teenager ‘owned’ her mistake.
‘I don’t want people to hassle the student,’ Ms Campbell told afl.com.au.
‘I ask people to consider her feelings because there’s certainly no ill feeling from me and I just want her to work through this situation with her family.’
The Aboriginal artist said Port Adelaide handled the matter well and she was pleased to be recognised as the artist behind the jumper design.
Ms Campbell added she wanted players to wear the guernsey ‘with great pride’ in the Indigenous round next weekend.
‘Sir Doug Nicholls Round is important to me and my people and I know it means a lot to Port Adelaide,’ she said.
Port Adelaide’s CEO Matthew Richardson was impressed at how Ms Campbell handled the issue.
‘It’s a mark of her character that one of her first concerns was the welfare of the student,’ he said.
All AFL clubs produce a special new design each year for Indigenous Round, which celebrates the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people to the sport.
Artist Elle Campbell pointed out on Instagram she had the ‘similar’ design displayed at an exhibition in 2019 (pictured above)
Earlier, Ms Campbell had displayed her painting online to prove her point, with the two images being nearly identical.
‘Wow. This is MY painting, someone has submitted it as their own and PAFC (Port Adelaide Football Club) are using it for their guernsey,’ Campbell fumed on Instagram.
‘I am deeply hurt by the use of this painting and the ‘artist’ claiming this work (to) be their own,’ Ms Campbell said.
‘The meaning behind this painting was of my families’ ancestral burial ground at Kingston S.E. and the connection we still have with the native flora and fauna on those lands.
Ms Campbell also spelled out the deep cultural meaning of her painting on social media
‘My mother had sent me a photo of some kangaroos coming out from the scrub to go have a dip in the water, which was the inspiration for this painting.’
Ms Campbell added she was ‘heartbroken another Aboriginal woman has stolen my artwork that not only means so much to me, but it also one of my first paintings’.
‘I want my art to be seen on my own merit. That’s now been taken away from me,’ she said.