Almanac Art: Dreamtime for a Canadian

Danielle Ponter: First female Indigenous Essendon VFLW player to pull on the black and red.



In 2018 preparations for the Dreamtime match between Essendon and Richmond had a different twist to them with the introduction of VFL Women’s teams at both clubs. Now, not only were the men scheduled to clash at the ‘G’, but an inaugural VFLW Dreamtime game was set to take place prior, at Punt Road (currently known as the Swinburne Centre). Selected in the side against the mighty Tigers, I was excited and humbled by the occasion with a thirst for more information…


In anticipation for the Dreamtime clash, the Essendon FC had invited down the artist responsible for the creation of their dreamtime jumper – Arthurina Moreen – as well as two of her Tiwi Bombers teammates Freda and Julie. These three joined us in training for the week out on the track. Even though at first they seemed somewhat apprehensive and quiet, the young women were not out of place and exhibited sharp skills and natural athleticism.


I introduced myself to Arthurina after recognising her from the video Essendon had posted regarding the reveal of the Dreamtime Guernsey ( and chatted to her about my love for her design brilliance. “Rina’s” artwork and story from the video had inspired me to look further into the stories and meaning behind the Indigenous designs and the local interpretations of colour.


Essendon FC players Michaela Long, Courtney Ugle and Danielle Ponter were gracious enough to share their stories and convey more of their journey and what the weekend meant to them – tradition, family, remembrance, and working for change stood forth in my mind. I wanted to do more, to know more. I have also talked to people I know about Indigenous cultures: a friend and previous trainer, Bobbie Lee Blay, who had family from the stolen generation; my sister-in-law, who has studied and speaks an aboriginal language and knows much of the aboriginal cultures back in Canada (as my Canadian knowledge also remains thin). Although I remain ignorant, I hope I am making ground.


I feel honoured to have been able to share this journey with my Essendon FC teammates. I wanted to thank Michaela, Courtney and Danielle for sharing their stories and enlightening myself and others as to what this week meant to them, and by helping me  understand some of the history behind it. I hope I have honoured them in paint, and off the top of my boot while draped in Arthurina’s Essendon artwork.



Anthony Mcdonald-Tipungwuti: Current Essendon FC player


  1. I really like the indigenous flag in the background, subtle yet evident.
    Good to have someone from someone from Tigercat territory playing at Punt Road.

  2. Citrus Bob says

    Kendra –
    congratulations on a great article. I believe more of us “Aussies” need to spend quality time with our indigenous brothers and sisters.

    I look forward to showing all your work at the biggest Football Art Show ever seen in Australia!
    MIldura 22nd August – 22nd September when he indigenous football game and the later game of Aussie Rules come together.
    More information [email protected]

  3. Fantastic eye as always, well done Kendra

  4. Yvette Wroby says

    Wonderful story and as always, you art captures the spirit. Thanks for sharing Kendra.

  5. Well done looks great.. oils ?

  6. Kasey Symons says

    Beautiful Kendra. Just beautiful. Both your artwork and the article. xoxo

  7. Rod Oaten says

    If only more Australians were like you Kendra

  8. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Fantastic work, Kendra. Capture Danielle Porter’s kicking action beautifully.

  9. E.regnans says

    Love it, Kendra.
    Sharing your curiosity & your search for understanding helps, I reckon.
    Long may the search radiate.
    Drips in a lake; ripples across the water…

    And now you’ve played in a Dreamtime game.
    #wellplayed #brilliant

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