Australian Rules: AFL team Port Adelaide admit plagiarism over Indigenous design

·2-min read

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian Football League team Port Adelaide have acknowledged the design of their jumper for the Indigenous round was plagiarised after an artist complained on social media her work had been "stolen".

Port unveiled their Indigenous jumper this week with a 17-year-old woman credited with the winning design after a competition for high school students.

South Australia-based Aboriginal artist Elle Campbell recognised her design on the jumper and said it was inspired by her family's "ancestral burial ground" and their connection with native flora and fauna on those lands.

"Wow. This is MY painting, someone has submitted it as their own and PAFC are using it for their guernsey,” Campbell wrote on Instagram.

"Feeling pretty heartbroken that another Aboriginal woman has stolen my artwork that not only means so much to me but it also one of my first paintings."

Campbell told Reuters Port had agreed the design was hers and had sought to "rectify" the situation.

The club investigated her claim and issued a statement late on Friday, saying Campbell would be credited.

"Clearly, no one intended for this to play out this way, but we are now pleased that Ms Campbell will get the recognition she deserves and we look forward to telling the story behind her artwork next week," Port Adelaide boss Matthew Richardson said.

Campbell said she bore the schoolgirl who plagiarised her work no ill will.

"One thing that I want to stress is that I don’t want people to hassle the student," she said.

"She’s young, she’s made a mistake and owned it, and I know what social media culture can be like."

The Indigenous jumper was designed for the AFL's annual Sir Doug Nicholls round, which pays tribute to the contributions of Indigenous Australians to the sport.

The two-weekend Indigenous round starts May 28.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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