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Nicky Winmar poses with his statue during the Nicky Winmar statue unveiling at Optus Stadium on July 06, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Photo: Nicky Winmar poses with his statue during the Nicky Winmar statue unveiling at Optus Stadium on July 06, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

  • Nicky Winmar, Premier Mark McGowan and AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan unveil historic statue at Optus Stadium
  • Aboriginal football greats, the AFL and the State Government join members of the public for unveiling ceremony before the 50th Western Derby and NAIDOC Week
  • Statue now permanently located between Optus Stadium and Matagarup Bridge
  • Installation marks historic moment in Australian sport and complements the stadium's existing acknowledgement of WA's Aboriginal heritage

Nicky Winmar's defiant gesture in response to racist abuse from spectators at a St Kilda-Collingwood match in 1993 was captured in a now famous image by photographer Wayne Ludbey.

The statue recreates Winmar's famous pose - where after the final siren he lifted his jumper and pointed his middle finger to his skin, declaring to the crowd: 'I'm black and I'm proud'.

Winmar and Aboriginal teammate Gilbert McAdam had been subjected to relentless racist abuse from sections of the Victoria Park crowd throughout the match.

The image has since become a powerful symbol of Aboriginal pride and opposition to racism in Australian sport.

Nicky Winmar and the Premier joined the AFL and a host of Aboriginal football greats for the unveiling today at Optus Stadium in lead-up to the 50th Western Derby and NAIDOC Week.

Located on a grassed area outside Optus Stadium, the statue and plinth reaches a height of almost five metres and is inscribed with a passage marking the significance of the occasion in Australian reconciliation.

It was commissioned by the AFL and produced by renowned Melbourne sculptor Louis Laumen with the help of a crowdfunding campaign.

The statue complements Optus Stadium's existing acknowledgement of Aboriginal history — while immortalising Winmar's famous gesture on Noongar land in his home State.

Neil Elvis 'Nicky' Winmar played 251 AFL games for St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs, and 58 WAFL matches with South Fremantle.

He was a two-time All Australian, was named in St Kilda's Team of the Century and was the first Aboriginal Australian to play 200 AFL games.

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Page reviewed 30 July 2019