In just four minutes, Pat Cash, a retired Australian professional tennis player, delivered a powerful message to Australia.
The tennis legend captivated viewers around the country as he explained exactly why he was embarrassed to be Australian and would not be celebrating Australia Day on January 26, referring to the national holiday as ‘Invasion Day’.
“As an Australian who brought two Davis Cups home, representing my country, January 26 is not a day of celebration for me. People who really look into it would question that.”
“I was out of the country for 30 years, I had no idea how bad the situation is,” Pat said on Sunday morning, explaining his feelings when he saw the state of Aboriginal communities. “I’ve got to say, I was embarrassed to be Australian, I was shocked. It was mind-blowing. I was in tears half the time seeing the poverty and the situation these people are in.”
During the interview, Pat put out a powerful reminder that Indigenous people are the actual land owners of Australia, and highlighted the recent human rights abuse where the Australian government shut the water off from remote communities.
Pat said his work with the charity Children’s Ground had changed his life by opening his eyes to the situation, and encourages us to support organisations that are helping to make a positive change in Indigenous communities.
Children’s Ground is working to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and inequity in Indigenous communities–they ‘work with each child in every familiy in a community’, breaking down barriers such as language to help them achieve their aspirations. Children’s Ground has a partnership with the Mirarr people of Kakadu West Arnhem in the Northern Territory, through their organisation the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation. They also have a long association with Arrernte Elders and families in Alice Springs and are working with families across four sites in the Central Australian region.