Because of Her, We Can! Ally Anderson celebrates NAIDOC Week

By Ant Wingard@AntWingard

Every July across Australia, NAIDOC Week commemorates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

In 2018, NAIDOC Week carries the theme – Because of Her, We Can! to celebrate and commemorate the role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women continue to play in the community.

Indigenous women have long played significant roles as pillars of society and this year, we recognise those contributions throughout NAIDOC Week from July 8-15.

Women played significant roles in the 1967 Referendum, the drafting of the Uluru Statement and sat alongside Eddie Mabo as plaintiffs in the case of Mabo v Queensland in the High Court of Australia.

To celebrate NAIDOC Week and the contributions of Indigenous women throughout history, Koobara Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Kindergarten hosted the Northside Community Fun Day on Thursday.

Close to 2000 people attended the event which included a live band, information stalls, dance performances from Torres Strait Island and Aboriginal groups and Indigenous art displays.

Among those at the event was Brisbane Lions AFLW player, Ally Anderson, who spoke about her experiences as an Indigenous athlete in sport.

“I grew up in the inner north side and actually started playing football in high school because my sister started playing it,” Anderson said speaking at the event.

“She was a massive inspiration for me and whatever she did, I wanted to do it as well.”

“I grew up in a house with seven women and only two boys. It was very women-inspired and everyone was so encouraging.”

Since being drafted by the Brisbane Lions ahead of the inaugural AFL Women’s season in 2017, Anderson has used her platform to become a role model for women in sport.

Across the last handful of seasons, Anderson has helped coach an Indigenous Australian Rules Football Under-15’s female competition.

In 2017, Anderson also had the opportunity to commentate NT Thunder’s NEAFL games in Queensland with National Indigenous Television.

“Just to see that I’ve had that little impact on them and the fact that they’ve continued to play back with their families is such an inspiring thing,” Anderson said.

“To be able to have a week where they have a week where they can bond and get to know each other, it’s pleasing for me to see.”

“You see all of these women in the sporting fields and it helps not to discourage women from playing the sports they want to play.”

“It’s really great to have all of these great influences and its exciting that I can potentially be that sort of influence for the future footballers coming through. Not just in sport, but in life.”

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