On Friday 24 March, in celebration of Harmony Day, Netball Australia and Netball NSW brought together netball greats including cross town rivals from the NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball teams, multicultural community leaders and politicians to compete in an ‘All Stars’ Harmony Day netball match.
The match was developed to bring leading political and sporting figures together to support the essence of Harmony Day, and celebrate the cultural diversity that makes Australia the great nation that it is.
Attendees of the day included Australia Post One Netball Ambassadors, Bec Bulley, Clare McMeniman and Sepi Hawke, NSW Swifts players and coaches, Maddy Proud, Sam Wallace, Rob Wright and Megan Anderson, GIANTS Netball players Serena Guthrie and Krisitana Manu’a, and politicians, the Hon Ray William MP, Minister for Multiculturalism, Minister for Disability Services and the Hon Lynda Voltz MLC, Shadow Minister for Sport, Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs.
Minister for Multiculturalism, Minister for Disability Services, the Hon Ray Williams MP, was delighted to be a part of the event and recognised the power of sport in bringing all Australians together.
“One of the great things about our country is that we love our sport, we love our people. I love the way that netball reaches out across our cultural communities with so many great programs.”
“What we’ve created here is the envy of the world. There’s no greater way to reach out to the communities than what (Australia Post One Netball) does through sport.”
The special celebratory match also coincided with the launch of the 2017 Australia Post One Netball program, a partnership between Australia Post and Netball Australia run since 2014 – which aims to address the barriers to community engagement with sport.
In 2017 the program is supported by 20 inspirational One Netball ambassadors, including current Suncorp Super Netball players, as well as club and association community champions, all actively working to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background or ability, feels welcome in netball.
Talking about the Harmony Day match and its link to the ethos of the One Netball Program, Netball Australia’s Head of Stakeholder Relations and Public Policy, Miriam Slattery, further recognised the power of netball in creating inclusive communities.
“Harmony Day is about celebrating diversity, in all its types, in all its cultures, in all its forms and we couldn’t think of a better way to do it than with all of you here today. Australia Post and Netball Australia partnered to create One Netball in 2014. The activities delivered through the One Netball program aim to ensure that everyone irrespective of their background or ability can be involved in the game we love.”
Andrea Pearman, General Manager of Marketing and Community at Australia Post further commented, “Australia Post is committed to celebrating and promoting diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity for all Australians. We are immensely proud of the work we do with Netball Australia to attract new individuals and communities to the game and promote the benefits of social inclusion and diversity for all,” she said.
Photo: Narelle Spangher