Netball Australia has backed Donnell Wallam’s ‘strength’ after receiving racist letter

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jul6,2024
Warning: distressing content.
The country’s governing netball body, Netball Australia, has condemned a racist letter received by the organisation criticising star player Donnell Wallam.
It relates to the 2022 furore that saw Gina Rinehart’s resources corporation rescind its sponsorship of the sport.
Addressed to the Noongar player, an unidentified source named ‘Mary’ said that Wallam’s ‘radically influenced comments’ about Rinehart’s father, Lang Hancock, were to blame for the saga.

The letter, with the subject line, ‘BEING INFLUENCED BY RADICAL ABORIGINALS’, claims that whilst Mr Hancock’s comments about sterilising Indigneous people were ‘disgusting’, Wallam’s comments, which were supported by her teammates, were influenced by ‘radical Aboriginal filth’.

The letter also contained an acknowledgement to ‘British and European Elders’ and a salute to Lieutenant James Cook.

In an Instagram post featuring an image of the sent letter, Wallam writes, “As if the hate online wasn’t enough, Mary thought she’d send me a letter.”

I’m beyond disgusted and hurt but I will never stop advocating for my people.

“Blak, Loud and Proud. ALWAYS 🖤💛❤️”

“Ps: any of Mary’s Noongar friends wanna come claim their sister girl 🥴”

Backed by Netball Australia, Queensland and the Player Association

With Super Netball’s First Nation round kicking off this weekend, Netball Australia, Queenland and the Netball Australia’s Player Association in a joint statement threw their support behind Wallam and condemned the letter.
“We applaud and admire [Wallam’s] strength, courage and dignity in the face of such hate,” the statement read.
“Netball Australia and Netball Queensland are committed to First Nations inclusion.
“We all have zero tolerance of racism and all forms of personal abuse.
“Netball Australia, the Origin Australian Diamonds, Netball Queensland and the Firebirds are providing Donnell our total support and care.

“Publicly calling out racism in all its forms is a critical step to stopping the abuse.”

Taking a stand

In 2022, Wallam, the Diamonds’ only Indigenous player, spoke out against her team’s controversial partnership with mining giant Hancock Prospecting.
Ms Wallam opposed wearing the uniform bearing the Hancock logo and privately requested its CEO, Gina Rinehart, publicly denounce racist comments made by her father in 1984.
In the Australian documentary ‘Couldn’t be Fairer’, Lang Hancock proposed the sterilisation of Aboriginal people through the poisoning of waterways as a “solution” to the “problem”.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Swimming Queensland, which receives significant funding from Rinehart, advocated for the removal of her portrait from the National Gallery.

The portrait, painted by Vincent Namatjira, was perceived to be unflattering by Rinehart. It still hangs in the NGA.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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