Ash Gardner, WBBL, Sydney Sixers, Aboriginal culture, background, reconciliation, January 26 change date, Australia Day

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Ash Gardner, WBBL, Sydney Sixers, Aboriginal culture, background, reconciliation, January 26 change date, Australia Day

Newly minted Commonwealth Games gold medalist Ash Gardner is proud to represent Australia and is equally proud to represent her mob, but Australia Day is January They say it shouldn’t be the 26th and have a unified message on why.

Today, Serena Steele fox sports We speak to a proud Indigenous woman who has lived thousands of years beside the Red Gum River and Satin Blue Bush in northern New South Wales, and who cherishes the history of her ancestors.

With a hectic cricket schedule and COVID19 shutdowns, Gardner hadn’t set foot in Mulwari’s country until last May, when he took advantage of the off-season to connect with the country.

There she was greeted with a smoking ceremony…and an overwhelming sense of what Baggy Green No. 174 means to her mob and the Australian cricket pantheon.

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Growing up, the 25-year-old idolized the likes of Kathy Freeman and the late Andrew Simmons, but now, alongside Eddie Betts and Ash Bertie, she’s a current role model for her mob and Generation Next. I understand that

On her behalf, Gardner would like to pay tribute to all the elders, past and present, especially the strong Indigenous women who have made their way in the nation’s sporting world.

Gardner also wants to use her voice in the hopes that all Australian mobs will come to understand why reconciliation and changing the date of Australia Day are so important to Indigenous Peoples.

And why do I hear comments about her not being “Aboriginal enough”?

Receiving Baggy Green 174, Gardner became only the second Australian woman, after Aunty Faith Thomas, 60 years after Faith Aunty carved out England at Junction Oval, St Kilda in 1958.

Ash Gardner is a weapon with a bat. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Q: How important is the journey of cultural awareness?

A: There are many important reasons to appreciate my culture. First, it is who I am and my identity. Second, I am a role model for other Indigenous children, so it is important that I have someone I can look up to. It can highlight and promote the positive things that happen in our culture.

Q: You love representing Australia, but are you aware of your responsibility to represent your mob…?

A: It has always been a dream of mine to represent Australia in all three formats and I have been very lucky to have made it happen over the past five years. On behalf of my mob, it is even more important to show them that people like them represent the sport at the highest level. I’m here.

Q: Why is it important for Indigenous Peoples to change the date of Australia Day?

A: Changing the date of Australia Day is very important as it does not represent Australia. I don’t understand why we should celebrate the day our country was invaded by settlers. By changing the day, we can celebrate the place that all Australians call home and not only celebrate the present, but also understand and respect the past.

Changing the date represents inclusivity and solidarity and allows all Australians to celebrate. represents this.

Ash Gardner spends extra time on art during lockdown. (Instagram)Source: Provided

Q: Have you ever experienced racism? Do you sometimes feel like you have to live between two worlds?

A: I experienced racism mainly at school. There I was questioned if I was Aboriginal…and a throwaway comment about Aboriginal people getting everything for free. I got a comment that it doesn’t look Aboriginal. That time I said I was Aboriginal… She said I just didn’t see it and she wasn’t participating in the discussion and she kept burrowing herself. rice field. If I had the time again, I would have questioned her about that comment and let her know it was very hurtful.

Q: How will you take the Australian mainstream on this journey? How can we follow the same path to get to know you better?

A: I think it all comes down to education. One of the big problems is that students aren’t learning as much about the past as they should in school. It is certainly one of the areas where we can improve to have impact and change across generations. But in the end it’s a conversation with a person. It may sound simple, but when people talk about culture, one thing leads to another and people start to think differently about certain issues.

Q: If you had to pick one specific conversation that every Australian should have about First Nations people, what would it be?

A: How do you become an ally? How do you plan to change the trends and statistics that affect First Nations people?

Q: What is a settlement?

A: I feel comfortable having awkward conversations with non-Indigenous people. To help educate non-Indigenous people about our history and culture. With this being said, it creates a bond between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples so that we can work towards reconciliation in this country.

Ash Gardner speaks to the media. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images of him in Cricket Australia)Source: Getty Images

Q: Why is it important that all Australians play a role in reconciliation?

A: Aborigines make up only 3% of Australia’s population, so it is important that all Australians play their part in reconciliation. Our voices are heard, but we are stronger when the remaining 97% of the population speaks up and stands for reconciliation.

Q: As part of a national sports body, how important is it for Indigenous peoples to be heard on boards and committees?

A: This is very important because many sports don’t have this at all. I have to look specifically at cricket. Yes, cricket is a white man’s sport that traditionally originated in England, but things need to change. There are people making decisions on behalf of the First Nation people, but they have no personal connection to what they are trying to implement. It is disappointing to know that no one can make decisions for their own people. If all sports want to take this seriously, they need to have different voices on board who can see things from multiple perspectives.

Q: What does it mean that Patti Mills hoisted the flag and the Matildas hoisted the flag at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics?

A: It was big! People like Patty and The Matildas have huge followings on social media, and activism like this sparks conversations about why they’re doing what they’re doing. Ultimately, besides playing interesting sports, as a person who plays sports, it’s about creating conversations not only about sports, but about different things that are happening in this country.

Q: How do you stay connected with the community?

A: COVID has been good in some ways, so I had a lot of time to do different things. One was dot painting, a way to connect directly to my culture by creating artwork and telling stories through it. Another opportunity I had was to go to a country that was incredibly special last year, and I was able to go there with my mother and her ten or so other Mulwari people. , felt a strong connection with the land and ancestors. A smoking ceremony was held as soon as we got there, welcoming us into the land and giving us a little time to reflect on our ancestors who paved the way for us today.

Australian cricketer Ash Gardner plays for the WBBL’s Sydney Sixers.

The Sixers will face the Melbourne Stars in their season opener on October 16 – streamed live on KAYO.

WBBL’s coverage is part of Kayo’s commitment to women’s sports, which features record-breaking airtime for women’s sports from September to October.