22 January 2021
Cricket Australia applauded for Australia Day stance
The nation’s largest member-based Aboriginal organisation has applauded Cricket Australia’s decision to remove references to Australia Day from its programing.
The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, which has more than 20 thousand members across 120 local land councils, said that the efforts of the national summer game would help unify Australia.
NSWALC Chairperson, Cr Anne Dennis said that on this matter Cricket Australia, rather than the Prime Minister, was in step with how public opinion is changing.
“Cricket Australia has recognised that the current date of Australia Day is hurtful to Aboriginal people and divisive to increasing numbers of Australians,” Cr Dennis said.
“There is nothing more Australian than cricket so the principled stand the sport has taken will massively increase the momentum for a more inclusive national day.”
Cr Dennis said that Cricket Australia understands what the Prime Minister has failed to grasp – the hurt Aboriginal people feel about the national day being celebrated on the date their dispossession began.
“We urge the Prime Minister to please hear us. On the 26 January every year Aboriginal people feel more marginalised, more disregarded and more unsafe in Australia than at any other time. These feelings are genuine and deeply held,” Cr Dennis said.
“We thank Cricket Australia for supporting us and urge them to not allow themselves to be bullied into changing their position.”
Cr Dennis said that Aboriginal people had a long love of cricket.
“It’s a source of great pride to us that the first Australian cricket team to tour England was an all-Aboriginal side in 1868.”
“Aboriginal people have always loved cricket, and we appreciate how the sport wants to listen to and understand us,” she said.