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SOUTHERN STARS RECEPTION

SOUTHERN STARS RECEPTION

 

MURAL HALL

WEDNESDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER 2015

 

 

 

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It’s a great pleasure to say welcome to our Parliament – and welcome home to Australia.

And on behalf of all Australians, thank you for bringing the Ashes with you!

I am sure, if you had a dollar for every time an interviewer said to you in the past few weeks:

“At least you did what our men’s team couldn’t do…”  you’d all be able to retire in luxury.

But the fact is, your Ashes victory isn’t a matter of relativities – or comparisons.

It stands proudly on its own.

Our first Ashes win on English soil since 2001.

The first time any Australian cricket team has been ranked number one in test, one-day and T20 cricket at the same time.

Outstanding individual efforts from your skipper, Meg Lanning.

Player of the series Ellyse Perry.

And the brilliant test debut of Jess Jonassen.

I don’t know all your stories, I don’t know what inspired you to become the elite athletes you are.

Perhaps you grew up idolising Zoe Goss, or Belinda Clark.

Or perhaps it was something closer to home.

A parent who supported you.

A coach who believed in you.

A sibling or best friend who pushed you to do one more set of throwdowns, or an extra fielding session.

You have all been trailblazers.

I know for example, Meg Lanning made history when she debuted for her school’s first eleven as a year 9 student.

I’m sure Meg, like all of you, copped more than her fair share of sledging along the way, from people stuck behind the times.

And each of you wore that as a badge of honour, you bottled it and used it to make you stronger and better.

Whatever journey you have been on to reach this point and whomever provided your inspiration, you should know that you are now the inspiration for the next generation of Stars.

One out of every four young Australians who picks up a cricket bat this summer will be a girl.

And as more of your games are televised and more Australians come to know and appreciate your abilities…

It is those young girls, beginning their cricketing lives, who will soon be imitating your cut shots and cover drives, your bowling actions.

They will be copying your wicket celebrations.

They will be modelling themselves on the pride and pleasure you took in the success of your teammates.

I can’t think of a better group of role models for our future stars, than our current Stars.

And I’m very confident we won’t be giving up the Ashes any time soon.

Congratulations, on a magnificent victory.

Thank you for what you do.

ENDS

 

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