Ny­oon­gar magic

Kalamunda Reporter - - Front Page - Sarah Brookes

NY­OON­GAR com­mu­ni­ties have pro­vided some of the great­est AFL stars over the past 60 years and now a doc­u­men­tary se­ries pro­fil­ing the lives and ca­reers of five gamechang­ing cham­pi­ons will have its pre­miere this month.

Ny­oon­gar Footy Magic di­rec­tor Kelli Cross, from Mid­land, said the idea for the se­ries came about in 2005 af­ter a group of se­lec­tors chaired by Kevin Sheedy se­lected an Indigenous Team of the Cen­tury to mark 100 years of Indigenous play­ers in AFL foot­ball.

“What sur­prised ev­ery­one was the num­ber of West Aus­tralian Indigenous play­ers in the team and, in par­tic­u­lar, the num­ber of Ny­oon­gar play­ers from the South-West cor­ner of WA,” she said.

“It trig­gered a wider re­al­i­sa­tion that this small Indigenous na­tion has reg­u­larly pro­vided many of the great­est AFL foot­ball stars who ever played.”

The four-part se­ries pro­files Gra­ham ‘Polly’ Farmer, Barry Ca­ble, Jim and Phil Krak­ouer, and Nicky Win­mar.

“Th­ese play­ers are world class ath­letes with light­ning fast re­flexes who have en­er­gised the sport while bring­ing na­tional recog­ni­tion and pride to their peo­ple,” Cross said.

“Footy be­came a pas­sion for gen­er­a­tions trapped in mis­sions, homes and on re­serves.”

Cross said it was an hon­our to di­rect the story of Farmer.

“It was in­cred­i­ble to hear his story from his hum­ble be­gin­nings in foster care to kick­ing the footy around with just one shoe on, to later be­com­ing a leg­end of the game and the Ny­oon­gar peo­ple,” she said.

Cross said Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin, who was born at Swan District Hospi­tal and grew up in Northam, was also in­ter­viewed for the se­ries.

“Buddy felt hon­oured to be in such le­gendary com­pany,” she said.

“He is well aware of how easy he has it now com­pared to the fel­las be­fore him, such as Polly who needed an ex­emp­tion to train be­cause of the cur­few in place that ex­cluded Indigenous peo­ple from the city cen­tre af­ter 6pm.”

Ny­oon­gar Footy Magic pre­mieres on Wed­nes­day, May 30, at 9pm on NITV.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d473262

Doc­u­men­tary di­rec­tor Kelli Cross.

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