Geelong Cats have unveiled their 2024 Sir Doug Nicholls Round guernsey, titled ‘Layers of the Land’.

The guernsey, designed by Keerray Woorroong and Yorta Yorta woman Sherry Johnstone, speaks to the importance of looking after our environment and celebrating the unique elements of the Australian landscape that First Nations people have called home for more than 60,000 years.

“I wanted this guernsey design to create thoughts and conversations about looking after Country and how important it is to appreciate, protect and fight for what we have whilst restoring what is struggling to survive,” Mrs Johnstone said.

“So the key messages are for us all to be aware of the impact we are having on our environment and animals, and working together on creating timely solutions.

“All things have a place, purpose, spirit and connection. If we can all take the time to respect, listen, observe, connect, learn and grow from what surrounds us, we can learn to live in harmony with it and care enough to contribute to creating a more sustainable future for our children and generations to come.”


Geelong Cats midfielder Brandan Parfitt, a Larrakia, Waramungu and Yawuru man, said the Cats playing group was proud to be able to wear the Layers of the Land Guernsey for the 2024 Sir Doug Nicholls Rounds.

“It’s an honour to wear Sherry Johnstone’s design, which holds such deep significance,” Parfitt said.

“Celebrating First Nations cultures in Sir Doug Nicholls Round is something we look forward to as a team and a Club each year, and, having grown up in the Northern Territory, for the Cats to be heading to Darwin to play in the round opener against Gold Coast is something that is very special to me.”

The guernsey details several features of the Australian landscape, namely Sea Country, Flat Country, Stoney Country and Hilly Country, as well as highlighting waterways, which represent journeys and time, and footprints representing the First Nations peoples who walked on and sustained the land for over 60,000 years, living with and from the land.

Each side of the guernsey has a shield, representing protection, encouraging us to become warriors to protect what is important to us, and guard our environment against future harm.

The shoulders of the guernsey feature hills, representing the challenges we are up against, but there are also windows in the hills representing windows of opportunity for different cultures to come together to become stronger as a collective force to protect what they are passionate about.

Finally, the circle above the footprints on the chest represents a gathering place, coming together as a team with a message stick encouraging us to pass on the message of the importance of looking after all the elements of our land.

For a full, detailed explanation of the design, click here.

The Geelong Cats will wear their guernsey for their Sir Doug Nicholls Round matches, which will be held across Rounds 10 and 11 of the 2024 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

The Cats will wear two versions of the guernsey, with a predominantly blue design for their match with Gold Coast in Darwin, while a predominantly white design will be used in their Round 11 match against GWS Giants at GMHBA Stadium.

The Cats’ VFL and VFLW teams will also wear the guernsey in their respective Sir Doug Nicholls Rounds clashes, while the Cats AFLW team will wear the guernsey in the AFLW Indigenous Round later this year.

The Layers of the Land guernsey is available through The Cats Shop now.

Book your tickets for Geelong’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round match against GWS Giants at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday 25 May.