NACCHO #Reconciliation week #Indigenous #AFL Round : The Art of Footy and the Dreamtime

Buddy Franklin

THE DREAMTIME

“They say we have been here for 40 000 years, but it is much longer –
We have been here since time began We have come directly out of the Dreamtime of our creative ancestors –

We have kept the earth as it was on the first day.
Our culture is focused on recording the origins of life.
We refer to forces and powers that created the world as creative ancestors.

Our beautiful world has been created only in accordance with the power, wisdom and intentions of our ancestral beings.”

For Buddy’s info the above “Dreamtime art “was created by the Aboriginal Community Controlled Arrernte Art Centre Alice Springs in 1999 to celebrate winning the To Do World Tourism Award SEE DETAILS

LANCE Franklin quite literally wears his indigenous heart on his sleeve.

The tattoos on his left arm are a random collection of images he found at a library. An aboriginal elder, a kangaroo, a fire, a tree, a man sitting cross-legged playing the didgeridoo.

It is not a story gleaned from the Noongar lore of his mother’s family but a personal dreaming.

Something he pieced together much like he has gradually pieced together and identified with his indigenous heritage.

Article from Daily Telegraph

Lance Franklin in the indigenous guernsey the Swans will wear against North Melbourne on Friday night. Picture: Phil Hillyard

All 18 AFL clubs will wear specially designed Indigenous guernseys this weekend as part of Sir Dougall Nicholls Round  VIEW all Art Here

Identity is often assumed from a name, an accent, a place of birth, the colour of your skin. But sometimes, as you suspect has been the case with Franklin, it must be discovered and explored.

Franklin was born in Perth. His mother, Ursula, is a Kickett — indigenous football royalty. Just football royalty, really. Derek Kickett who played in the Swans 1996 Grand Final team and the much travelled Dale Kickett are just two of the most prominent members of a vast and talented family.

But when he was young, Franklin moved with his parents and three older sisters to the small town of Dowerin, 150 kilometres northeast of Perth, and for a time lost touch with his mother’s family.

“As I’ve matured I’ve got to know a lot more about that side of the family,’’ says Franklin. “But going to the bush like we did, I didn’t get to see them that much.’’

In Dowerin, life was different than it might have been among the big Kickett clan in Perth.

“There was difficult times at school being the only indigenous kid there,’’ says Franklin. “But I had my family for support and I had my four sisters, I was the baby boy. But I think there are a lot of challenges growing up.”

Asked what those challenges were, Franklin’s voice suddenly breaks.

“I’d rather you not ask,’’ he says quietly.

Clearly there is a part of Franklin’s story that he is not ready to share.

But whatever pains Franklin, as he talks about how his exceptional ability with a football took him from rural Western Australia to Melbourne to Sydney, he considers himself fortunate.

“There are a lot of kids out there who don’t get seen,’’ said Franklin who won a scholarship at Wesley College in Perth when he was 15.

“I was fortunate to have great support from my mum and dad. Without them there is no way I would have gotten there.’’

“To see Goodesy that upset, it was hard. It was hard for all the boys and we just had to be there to support him through it.’’

– Lance Franklin

Similarly, Franklin’s entry to the AFL was relatively smooth.

There has been criticism in recent years of clubs who have been unable to handle the unique challenges of settling indigenous players, particularly those from remote regions.

But at Hawthorn Franklin was nurtured by indigenous leaders Chance Bateman and Shaun Burgoyne.

When he came to Sydney, Adam Goodes was not merely respected but revered.

 

 

Lance Franklin, Michael O'Loughlin and Adam Goodes displaying the Indigenous All-Stars Guernsey during the event to announce the Indigenous Australian All Stars squad that will be eligible to play in the International Rules Series in Ireland, at the NCIE, Redfern, Sydney on August 29, 2013. (Photo: Anthony Pearse/AFL Media)

Lance Franklin, Michael O’Loughlin and Adam Goodes displaying the NACCHO Indigenous All-Stars Guernsey during the event to announce the Indigenous Australian All Stars squad that will be eligible to play in the International Rules Series in Ireland, at the NCIE, Redfern, Sydney on August 29, 2013.

“They were really people who could help kids come in at a young age and help them grow as men,’’ says Franklin.

“You couldn’t ask for much more coming from Perth or Adelaide or remote places, you need that support. Especially if you are having troubles at home.’’

You ask what more can be done to help young indigenous players.

“I can only speak for what Sydney does, but I think this club has been amazing in supporting what we’ve done as indigenous players and what we bring to the table,’’ says Franklin.

“That started with Goodesy and Mickey O’Loughlin. They’ve been amazing for this football club.’’

Franklin is genuinely excited that he will wear a guernsey designed by Goodes’s mother Lisa Sansbury in Friday night’s Marn Grook at the SCG game, and play for a medal named in honour of Goodes and O’Loughlin.

“Of course I’ll be trying my hardest to get my hands on that,’’ he says with a grin.

“I was fortunate to have great support from my mum and dad. Without them there is no way I would have gotten there.’’

– Lance Franklin on his football dream

You ask Franklin what it was like to be on the field with Goodes last year when he was constantly booed.

“For me personally when I heard the booing it was pretty sad really,’’ he says. “To see Goodesy that upset, it was hard. It was hard for all the boys and we just had to be there to support him through it.’’

Did the racist overtones of the booing have a personal impact? “It was affecting Adam, so I stand by Goodesy,’’ he says.

“He was upset he was getting booed. I was upset by it and the football club was there to support him.’’

While at Hawthorn, Franklin travelled to Darwin and Alice Springs and spent time with indigenous communities. You ask if he found the conditions in which they lived were confronting. Again, Franklin’s voice breaks.

“That’s a difficult question,’’ he says, making it clear the topic is a bit too close to home.

For now, a still very private man is embracing the idea he can inspire young indigenous footballers as he was inspired by the likes of Goodes and Adelaide champion Andrew McLeod.

“When you see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders play well, being a kid from the bush it gives you something to strive for,’’ he says.

“For me, it made me want to work harder to achieve my goals. Football is what I always wanted to do and every training session I train my heart out and I try my hardest every weekend. To see those guys be successful was really good.’’

For Franklin, you suspect, there is more exploration of his heritage to be done.

On his trip to Darwin, Franklin went hunting in the Northern Territory with former teammate Cyril Rioli’s family. He enjoyed the experience and his curiosity was awakened.

The time will come when he studies even more closely those images on his muscular arm.

footy

In the latest of his series on defining moments in Australian sport, David Squires turns his eye to the contribution of Indigenous players in the AFL. And you can find David’s archive of Australian sport cartoons here

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