Some of our greatest sporting champions, past and present, have been indigenous Australians. A brief look at the history of sports such as Australian Rules football and rugby league reveals a surprisingly long list of players who have some Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ancestry. Cathy Freeman and Patrick Johnson are currently two of the best known names in athletics, not only in Australia, but worldwide.
Indigenous sportspeople often have had to battle against racism and other socio-economic disadvantages but, like many other athletes who triumph over adversity, some have risen to become true champions.
A series of links to sites on the theme of indigenous sports stars.
Official site for ATSIC - the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. A great source of information on Indigenous Australians. According to ATSIC “The material on this site is designed to educate, inform and to entertain”.
Indigenous Sport- Traditional Indigenous Games
Looks at some of the traditional sports played by Indigenous Australians before the arrival of whites.
Aborigines in Sport
An entire online book, in pdf format, on Aborigines and their involvement- or impediments to involvement- in Australian sport. Be patient it may take a while to load, but it is worth the wait.
Black Gold: The Aboriginal and Islander Sports Hall of
By Colin Tatz et al
Looks at the greatest indigenous champions of Australian sport, with photographs of all of the sportspeople. (Aboriginal Studies Press)
Obstacle Race: Aborigines in Sport
By Colin Tatz
Looks at the problems that Indigenous Australians have had to overcome to become champions in their chosen sport. (UNSW Press)
By Colin Tatz
An earlier version of Black Gold, this is not as up to date but it still includes many of the indigenous sporting greats. (Allen and Unwin)
Catherine: Intimate Portrait of a Champion
By Cathy Freeman and Basquali
A pictorial tribute to Cathy Freeman with portraits of the great athlete and inspirational quotes. (Pan Macmillan)
The Man: Anthony Mundine
By Anthony Mundine
The Man's story in the Man's own words. One of the most famous and controversial Aborigines of recent times tells his story. (Ironbark Press)