Voice to Parliament: Indigenous netballer Donnell Wallam shares stance, publicly supports Yes vote despite ‘racist comments’

Indigenous netballer Donnell Wallam has shared her stance on the Voice to parliament, publicly support the Yes vote.

Taking to Instagram ahead of Saturday’s vote, Wallam wrote: “I’ve been holding off on sharing my stance on the voice, purely and selfishly to protect my mental health from the racist comments I now open myself up to, but I firmly believe I must use my platform for those I represent.”

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Alongside a photo of her younger self with her hand painted in the colours of the Aboriginal flag, Wallam said: “I will be voting Yes. Yes to being recognised. Yes to being included. Yes to being heard.

“Yes to being seen beyond my sporting ability. Yes to a better future for our mob.”

Wallam found herself at the centre of a sponsorship controversy last year when Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting pulled out of a $15 million deal with Netball Australia because the Diamonds players refused to wear uniform with the company’s logo on it.

Wallam became the first Indigenous player in more than 20 years to represent Australia when she made her international debut for the Diamonds last year.

The goal shooter famously shot the matchwinning goal on the buzzer to cap a fairytale debut.

Wallam has told News Corp the controversy took a toll on her but she is proud for sticking to her guns and not wavering from her values.

“It was really difficult,” Wallam said.

“I’m just so grateful that the girls in the Diamonds environment and the staff all had my back.

As the first Indigenous netball player in decades to play for Australia, Wallam took on a huge burden but said she was determined to be a role model for future generations.

“My dad was part of the Stolen Generation,” Wallam said.

“So it hits home when stuff like (Lang Hancock’s comments) are out there.

“I’m always going to be an advocate for my family and my mob.”

A relatively late bloomer in professional netball, the 29-year-old has blossomed into her career following two breakout seasons with the Queensland Firebirds in the Super Netball competition.

Wallam was a travelling reserve to the Netball World Cup in South Africa earlier this year and won a medal as part of the Diamonds’ victorious campaign.

She hasn’t played for Australia since the England series last year but is set to be back in Australian colours when the Diamonds take on South Africa in an three-match series later this month.

Wallam was named in Australia’s squad, while selectors have also picked defender Matilda Garrett to make her national debut.

The Diamonds are on track to win the Constellation Cup again after dominating New Zealand on Thursday night to take a 1-0 win in the Trans-Tasman series.

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