Walabalinyngurru First Nations Ball

Gilbert is proud to launch our inaugural First Nations Ball for 2022. 

The Walabalinyngurru ball, which means 'Family' in Yawuru, was designed by proud Yawuru Woman of Western Australia and First Nations artist Sammy Wyborn.

Sammy Wyborn was the winner of the 2021 Gilbert Design Your Own Ball Competition, with the ball available to purchase exclusively on the Gilbert Rugby website. 

“I’ve been painting all my life… once I know the storyline I know exactly how I’m going to put it down on the canvas,” Wyborn explained to gilbertrugby.com.au.

“I just paint it out and away I go. Everything just came together.” 

With Wyborn finding out about the competition with just 10 days notice before the closing date, she got straight to work and begun to bring her thoughts to life. 

The idea of the design came about through experiences Wyborn has seen in the Kimberley region and how sport can play an important role in wellbeing. 

"Teams are like family through and through, they have each other's back on and off the field. Their kids grow together, they share the wins and the losses,” she said. 

“The name is in Yawuru which is part of my mob from Broome. Because the meaning of it is family and we are all very family orientated. That comes with the title of it and being part of that team. You are all one big family. 

“In the Kimberley we have a high rate of mental health and sport creates a really positive impact on that. You may not be friends with a particular person, but when it comes to sport you get to know that person deep down and that one person can be that lifeline and make all that difference. 

“That is why I chose it to be called that.”

Click here to hear how to pronounce Walabalinyngurru.