Polo shirt, Games Force uniform, Paralympic Games, Sydney, 2000, cotton, designed by Wendy Paulucci, April 2000, made by Bonds, Fiji, 2000
This is an example of the cotton polo shirts that medical personnel wore at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. Designed and made by Australian clothing company, Bonds, it was part of a casual uniform for Games Force 2000 - the accredited workforce of volunteers, contracted staff and paid staff who provided skilled and unskilled labour for the Sydney 2000 Games. The medical contingent, including doctors, nurses, masseurs, physiotherapists, sports doctors and first aid officers, wore distinctive polo-shirts and waterproof jackets with red collars and sleeves. Bonds manufactured the polo shirts in Fiji and the matching jacket in Malaysia - a strategy that reduced costs though ultimately attracted criticism from the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA). Approximately 200,000 polo shirts were distributed to the entire Games Force 2000 team.
The basic Games Force uniform comprised drill trousers or a drill skirt, a polo shirt, waterproof jacket, wide-brimmed hat and a hip bag - personnel wore their own shoes. Additional accessories included water bottles, baseball caps and waterproof ponchos. A secondary range of casual clothing was designed for specific personnel, such as ball persons, tennis umpires, and badminton, boxing and wrestling referees. In addition, a formal uniform with drill trousers, business shirt, blazer and scarf or tie, served technical officials and games service personnel. Importantly, the overall image was bright, neat, casual and recognisable.
Comprising around 80,000 volunteers, contracted staff and paid staff, Games Force 2000 provided the most visible and some of the most essential services at the Games. In return, members received complimentary transport to and from Sydney 2000 venues, complimentary meals when on duty, and a complete Games Force uniform.
The Australian clothing manufacturer, Bonds, was the official supplier of casual uniforms for the Sydney 2000 Games, and in this role it designed and manufactured over 1 million items of clothing for Games Force 2000. The resulting uniform distribution program would be the largest in Australian peacetime.
Wendy Paulucci, Bonds' in-house designer, worked with SOCOG for three years to develop a uniform that would reflect the bright, casual, and essentially Australian mood of the Sydney 2000 Games. The Fluid Energy graphic - a swirling, concentric design -was fundamental to the look and image of the Sydney 2000 Games, and was a key visual element of the Games Force uniform. This theme appeared on all polo shirts and wet-weather jackets to unify the Games Force personnel and to complement the look of the Games.
Enhancing this motif was a vibrant colour palette that was "a celebration of contrasts" and was "like the continent itself". This palette served to brighten the uniform and, most importantly, to delineate each of the service groups within the Games Force team. Sydney blue, the principal colour of the colour palette, was representative of games services; Sydney yellow of spectator services; Sydney purple of transport services; Sydney lime of security services; Sydney red of medical officials; Sydney indigo of technical officials; and Sydney aqua of SOBO - the Sydney Olympic Broadcasting Organisation. These colours appeared on the collars and sleeves of polo shirts and wet-weather jackets - key items within the basic uniform.
The entire Games Force uniform was designed in 1999 by Wendy Paulucci at Bonds. In December 1999, Bonds made its first design submission to SOCOG, presenting three distinct uniforms. The approved uniform, called 'The Sydney Story', was designed to incorporate the colour palette and Fluid Energy motif that distinguished the Sydney 2000 Games. It was also lightweight, comfortable and sun-protective. Colour-coded collars and sleeves identified the five groups in Games Force 2000.
The Games Force uniform was manufactured by Bonds both in Australia and overseas - an arrangement that attracted enormous criticism from the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia, which anticipated that all Sydney 2000 uniforms would be manufactured locally. This and other cotton polo shirts were made in Fiji.
Though this polo shirt is unused, it is identical to those that medical personnel wore during the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
Owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after the Games.