Australian Football League and Port Adelaide Football Club legend turned artist Gavin Wanganeen, produced this one of a kind original guernsey that he presented to the Chinese Premier Mr Li Keqiang at the Port Power game against the Sydney Swans. The guernsey reflects the trading that occurred between Aboriginal & Chinese people for 1000’s of years in the North.
Contrary to the broadly held view that indigenous Australians were isolated on their island continent, seafaring visitors in fact arrived long before British settlement. For hundreds of years there may have been an export economy in northern Australia driven by the Chinese appetite for trepang (sea cucumber).
In October 2015, Conan Fahey from the Australia China Development Company and Chinese Actress Lily Ji visited Ulba Bunij clan country in Mt Borradaile, Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory to film a Northern Territory Tourism documentary for the Greater China market entitled ‘Catch the SuNseT’. Lily met RM William’s Outback legend Max Davidson, who revealed to Lily that the Ulba Bunij Elders have shown him two rock art paintings which depict distinctive Chinese boats and a Chinese scout on land. Lily Ji vowed that she will return to see the ‘Chinese Boat’ and other significant rock paintings. This is an important part of our history, and shows the deep linkages between China and Northern Australia going back many centuries. These linkages form a part of Australia’s Aboriginal ‘Dreaming’ and are a key component of the oral history of the region.