What I love about this story is the way that it combines so many narratives in ways that reveal our nation’s cultural strengths, and foibles. These are the foundation for our future.
There is the sporting paradigm; the instinct to be physical and compete, the unavoidable disappointment and re-calibration forced by injury and aging, finding satisfaction in cultivating courage, skill and achievement in the next generation. As the 2018 AFLW reaches its climax and the 2018 AFL is about to begin, it’s the perfect time to tell this story.
I was taken by Kurdas’ pedigree, comprising of her family history, the diversity of her genetic and cultural endowments and the combination of sporting and academic application and achievement.
Injustice and suffering play a role in the stories; her maternal grandfather’s life, his potential and ambitions thwarted by war and political oppression; those aspects of the 20th century Australian psyche that could not comprehend the value of supporting women to play football. There will be no restitution for the people whose time has come and gone, but there is something about the way we can call “bullshit” in this country, that keeps me optimistic that the sparks of protest against injustice will continue to the fly.
However, sparks of protest flicker out. Organisation is needed to focus and sustain the movements that take us forward.
Thank you to the administrators who have made the AFLW a reality. Keep going.
Thank you to the people who organised the energy, conviction, arguments and legislation to make marriage available to everyone.
Thank you to the people who support immigrants to find their home in Australia; to connect people with communities and provide footballs and sportsgrounds, ballet shoes and dance floors; flutes, trumpets and pianos; play scripts and theatres; books and learning; opportunities to play, grow and contribute.
Thank you Chyloe Kurdas, and thank you Jack Banister, The Citizen and The Age for sharing this story.