› Forums › Australia › Hancock Prospecting announces it is pulling funding from Netball Australia › Reply To: Hancock Prospecting announces it is pulling funding from Netball Australia
I have been doing a lot of reading and thinking, sorry about the wall of text.
I don’t know if everyone commenting on this issue in this forum completely understands the cultural context this event is occurring in at this time in Australia. It’s a way bigger issue of the country starting to acknowledge and recognise past actions, and this is an example of it coming to a head, a bit like the ongoing conversations about Australia Day. It’s also hitting lots of conservative talking points (Aboriginal people, environmental issues, mining, women’s sport) which is not helping the flavour of the media coverage.
Like it or not, Gina Rinehart made her $26 billion fortune off the efforts of her father. Her father only died in 1992 and he was talking publicly about sterilising Aboriginal people in the 80s. It’s really not that long ago. I can totally understand why Donnell would not want to be associated with the Hancock name. I don’t know why Netball Australia wouldn’t give her an exemption, as that seems like the most obvious solution.
I can also understand why her teammates would want to support Donnell on this issue. It’s not that long ago that Netball Australia was dragged through the coals for Jemma Mi Mi not getting on court in Indigenous Round. Can you imagine if the Diamonds didn’t support Donnell and we had headlines about how they had a culture problem because they ostracised their only First Nations team member? Not to mention because she’s the only First Nations person in the team, she’s having to deal with all this media storm. The pressure she’s under (before her debut!) is immense and not fair to her.
I was at the game in Melbourne the other night and the difference between the Australian national anthem (in English) and the NZ anthem (in Te Reo Maori and English) really struck me. Yes we had the Welcome to Country, which is excellent, but that has only become a regular thing in the last decade or so. We’re not as far along in our reckoning in Australia and issues like this are going to keep happening.
It’s so unfortunate that it’s come to a head in this netball arena that we all love, at a time when Netball Australia has been financially incompetent (something the Diamonds players are not responsible for). I really hope that they find other financial avenues but of course I’m worried this event won’t attract sponsors. Unlike some commentators I don’t wish for the players to lose their professional status – why would we want the sport we love to go backwards??