Brendan Doggett admitted he was braced for a whirlwind of emotions in Perth today when he and his Sydney Thunder teammates put on their especially designed shirts which honour Australia’s Indigenous culture.
Doggett, whose bloodlines link him to the Worimi people from the Port Stephens area of NSW, believes the shirt that will be worn against the Perth Scorchers represents – among so many other things – his personal hope that all Australians can “move forward together” and recognise the history and achievements of the people who belong to the world’s oldest living culture.
“In my opinion, if we can all move forward together as one, and recognise our history, that’s the best possible result,” said Doggett of the relationship between Indigenous and White Australia 233-years after European settlement. “The culture – aside from what has happened in the past – is something to be proud of.
“It makes Australia special.”
When his mother researched her side of Doggett’s family tree six years ago, the fast bowler heard stories that he said ranged from the truly inspirational to downright heartbreaking.
“I heard special stories, and I heard sad ones as well,” he recalled. “But, they made you feel even prouder to be Indigenous.
“Mum told us about children [from her side of the family] who were snatched away from their parents, and it hits home when you can put names and photos to those stories. It’s quite sad, but it is part of our history – Australia’s history – and it made Mum realise that it was something to be proud of; something to own.
“And I think that’s why it is important to celebrate Indigenous culture as Sydney Thunder is by wearing these shirts. You want to recognise the history; respect it; understand that what happened wasn’t right, and that it was brutal – but then move on together as one.”
Doggett said representing Queensland in the Imparja Cup – which is an annual Indigenous cricket tour played in the Northern Territory – allowed for him to learn more about his culture.
“We had a day off during the tournament and we’d meet with people on their land, spend time in their communities, and it was unbelievable to think after everything, the culture is still there,” he said. “And what amazed me was to think it is [mankind’s] history.”
Thunder's Indigenous shirt was designed by Rheanna Lotter, a Sydney-based Yuin woman and it symbolises the connection, commitment and inclusivity of the Thunder Nation.
The large circle on the shirt represents the team; the smaller circles represent the supporters, staff, sponsors and wider community.
The large circle is connected to the smaller circles by unbreakable song lines. It is this strong connection between all parts of the Thunder Nation that enables the team to function and compete.
Doggett said the messaging on the shirt reflected Thunder’s commitment to community and culture, something that made him proud to be a member of the squad.
“The most satisfying thing for me about being a member of Sydney Thunder is how the Thunder acknowledges culture – all cultures,” he said. “Wearing an Indigenous kit shows respect, it also makes me realise there is unity here at Sydney Thunder.
“Our players come from different backgrounds, but I think something that makes our squad special is everyone respects one another’s culture.”
Sydney Thunder Memberships
Memberships start from $40 and offer access to a host of new benefits and exclusive discounts. View all packages here.
All Thunder Members will get priority access to BBL|10 tickets plus a 20% discount.
For more information or to join the Thunder Nation, please contact our Membership Team on 02 8302 6092.