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Don't change the date, change the attitude

  • 28 January 2021
  January 26 is one day out of 365. But no other date conjures up so much passionate debate amidst a cacophony of divided views. Each year there is the predictable commentary about Australia Day. 

Cricket Australia’s decision to not mention Australia Day for its Big Bash League clash, and instead use only the words January 26 is a googly (making us all curious).

No, it’s not the GOAT Nathan Lyon, it’s a brand new spinner called ‘taking-a-stand’. The crowd is irritated at first by this new type of bowler. ‘What’s this going to achieve!’ they groan. But hey! Hitting the stumps is what cricket is all about, right?

So, let’s take a drinks break and try to unpack this innings to see what strategy is being used. CA, with their National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cricket Advisory Committee, is showing substantial leadership in the field of cricket. This decision is about acknowledging the past and present day injustices that still impact First Nations’ families.

Given Australia’s first cricket team to travel overseas to England in 1868 was an all Aboriginal team, it is commendable that CA is following its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). ‘Our RAP vision of Cricket Connecting Country comes with it accountability for cricket to be a leader and use our influence to have a positive social impact on our community.’

It irritates and annoys Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Yet despite pressure from the PM to alter its decision, Cricket Australia stood firm. After all, why waste time on establishing a RAP and not follow through. Or worse, like Rio Tinto, ignore it, and go ahead and blow up ancient rock sites more than 60,000 years old. Condemnation from the PM over that disastrous failure by Rio Tinto was totally absent. Reconciliation Australia rejected Rio Tinto outright and revoked its endorsement.

CA’s decision, with its First Nations committee, shows leadership. Meanwhile, the PM and his team are sitting in the grandstand still at tea and haven’t even got their whites on yet. They’re simply not serious players.

'We can as a country change this. COVID-19 has showed us we know how to work together when all our lives depend on it. We know how to survive. We want to continue to survive.'

On January 26 Indigenous designs were on the clothes of each BBL team and Welcome to Country ceremonies held. CA’s Mel Jones, a retired Australian women's Test and ODI player, said ‘There