Indigenous netball star Donell Wallam reveals the family secret that prompted her to take a stand that cost the sport $15 million
- Donell Wallam reveals that father was part of Stolen Generation
- Indigenous netball player at the center of Gina Rinehart’s radioactive fallout
- Wallam is proud that she stuck to her values throughout the saga
Aussie netballer Donnell Wallam has spoken out about the Netball Australia sponsorship saga that made national headlines last year, revealing that her father was part of the stolen generation.
Wallam, 29, caused a storm last October when it became known that she was uncomfortable wearing the Diamonds jersey with the Hancock Prospecting logo on it due to racist comments made by Ms Rinehart’s father, Lang Hancock, nearly four decades ago .
Her teammates supported her boycott call and the furious backlash caused Ms Rinehart, 69, to pull out of the $15 million deal, leading to a financial crisis for Netball Australia.
The third Indigenous player to represent Australia, Wallam scored the winning goal on his debut against England at the pinnacle of the row.
Wallam, attacked by trolls online, has now spoken out about the toll the sponsorship fiasco took on her.
Aussie netballer Donnell Wallam has revealed that her father was part of the Stolen Generation
Wallam was the Indigenous netball player at the center of the feud between Netball Australia and Gina Rinehart last year
“It was very difficult,” Wallam recalled News Corp.
“I’m just so thankful that the girls in the Diamonds area and the staff were all behind me.
“We were kind of in a bubble, so we tried to shut out as much (noise) as possible, even though there was so much out there.
“The one thing I’ve learned from that is to always stand behind yourself and stick to what you believe in and that’s something I’ll always do because first of all I’m human and I have values and I have a life outside of netball.
“So if I’m not true to myself then I’m not the best netball player I can be.”
Wallam, a proud Noongar woman from Western Australia, is determined to be a role model for Indigenous Aussies and play a part in the conversation about the treatment of her people.
Ms Rinehart pulled out of the $15 million deal, leading to a financial crisis for Netball Australia
Wallam said the sponsorship fiasco took its toll on her, but she’s glad she’s sticking to her values
“My father was part of the stolen generation,” Wallam said.
So it comes across as good when things like (Lang Hancock’s comments) are there. I will always be an advocate for my family and my mafia.
“If I don’t step forward and have that conversation, then it’s up to the next person to come along and we want to make our trails and netball environments an easier place and a more fun place for First Nations athletes.”
“And if I am, then I will take on that burden for the next generation.
“I hope that when we look back on it in the future, we have learned something from it. That is the most important.’