Not many people would be aware of Andrea’s sporting background. …

Comment on NPY women forging their path to change by John Bell.

Not many people would be aware of Andrea’s sporting background. Andrea was one of the first two Aboriginal athletes to be awarded a residential scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport in 1981.
Australian netball coach Wilma Shakespeare saw great talent in this South Australian teenager, selecting her with Marcia Ella from NSW.
While on scholarship, Andrea and Marcia worked for the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation in the suburb of Woden in Canberra.
Two happy, brilliant, caring young ladies who had the sporting world at their feet and who at the same time demonstrated remarkable strength of character.
Then when a devastating training accident on the court wrecked Andrea’s knee and her career before it had begun, her sporting dream came crashing down.
Marcia went on to netball greatness for team Australia before retiring and giving her life to caring for her community.
For Andrea, it could have been the end, but it proved to be just the beginning.
With the same strength of character and single-minded determination that she showed on the court, Andrea returned home to SA, put her head down and went for it in the community. To where she is today.
On the board of the NASF at the time Andrea worked in its office was a fellow South Aussie, Faith Thomas, Australia’s first Aboriginal cricket player to play test cricket, the NASF female Member for SA.
Faith is to be honoured by Cricket Australia in the upcoming test series in 2017.
Andrea is following off the field in Faith’s groundbreaking footsteps. And in step with Marcia. Three wonderful, utterly amazing women, perfect role models for all young Aussie girls in sport and in the community.
As the New Year dawns, they are living proof that if you believe, you can – and will – achieve.

Recent Comments by John Bell

Fracking inquiry left me thankful, fearful, focused
@Rosalie Schultz. “If the Inquiry recommends a ban we’ll see energy transition – just like in SA and Victoria”
I doubt in reality you would want to experience the transition like down here in Vic and SA.
SA dangles perilously close to statewide blackouts relying on backup from a Vic power grid that is under incredible stress as Victorian households are paying the world’s highest power prices.
With no short term solution on the Labor Left Green SA and Vic government horizon.
Trust me on this one, it is a state of crisis for average punters down here in Mexico who have trouble making ends meet.
While the comfortably salaried soy latte-sipping Green control freak moralists of Lygon Street take in the morning sunshine at their trendy footpath cafes lecturing us “Suck it up,losers. We are doing this for your long term benefit”.
They say nothing when you ask them: Where are we going to get the money to pay our power bills right now? No answers forthcoming.


Sweet Country, a voice demanding to be heard
@Surprised. Yes. It is well acted. By the usual suspects eg Bryan Brown et al. I find that film directors go overboard though, directors’ licence, and tend to pander to public sentiment of the modern day at the expense of historical accuracy, the truth, the reality. Rabbit Proof Fence was an appalling example, the hurtful portrayal of O.A. Neville who was in real life a good man who did his very best for those little girls with the highest duty of care. As good as it is, Sweet Country still nowhere near as good as Jedda and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, my opinion only.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ Evelyne Roullet. Yes. Could not agree more.
Used to meet Mrs Higgins at the gate, every year, at the sports on Bangtail Muster Day and at the gate at Traeger Park, for 31 years.
Wonderful memories of a great lady who put her heart and soul into all the kids of Alice. The Youth Centre and the Gap Centre. Great places.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ Evelyne Roullet. I bet that the late Mrs Joan Higgins, a WW2 nurse who nursed the wounded in Alice, and whose Youth Centre sits under the shade of ANZAC Hill where so many town kids came together for sport, would be looking down and smiling on your beaut idea.


Will we say sorry to the Abandoned Generation in 10 years?
@ An Alice extended-family member. Thank you for perhaps one of the most thoughtful and compassionate comments that I have ever had the good fortune to read on the saddest of all social issues – the dysfunction and tragic breakdown of family – whether in the Aboriginal or wider community. Your comment is now pinned to my cerebral noticeboard for future reference and citing.


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