Guide to Diversity - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Cricket Australia acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are diverse and dynamic and that each community has different customs, protocols, languages and interrelationships. In seeking to increase engagement, Cricket Australia seeks to offer the sport in line with community needs and preferences.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander - Definition

The term Indigenous is used to refer to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. According to the most widely adopted definition of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (the 'Commonwealth working definition'):

"An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is

  • a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent,
  • who identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin and
  • who is accepted as such by the community with which the person associates".

This definition was developed during the period 1967 to 1978 and is now widely accepted by Commonwealth and other government agencies.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander - Fast Facts

  • 1.6% of registered club cricket participants identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
  • The Aboriginal community is one of the fastest growing communities in Australia with 20% population growth recorded over the 2006-2011 ABS Census period.
  • More than 600,000 Australians identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
  • In 1868 the first Australian cricket team to tour overseas was a Victorian Aboriginal team made up of stockmen who learnt cricket on cattle stations.
  • Jason Gillespie, Faith Thomas and Daniel Christian are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cricketers who have played for Australia.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander - Cricket's Advantages

  • Existing National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander competition and high performance programs.
  • Community carnivals such as the Imparja Cup and Rainforest Cup have a strong footprint in communities.
  • Growing pool of elite role models - Daniel Christian, Josh Lalor, Sally Moylan, Lain Beckett, Ashleigh Gardner, D'Arcy Short, Ben Abbatangelo.
  • Cricket Australia's partnership with the Clontarf Foundation reaches 3,000 school boys.
  • Quality modified programs now being delivered e.g. Cricket Victoria's Noogal Toengorrt Tani program.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander - Focus Groups to Increase Participation

  • Urban Metropolitan communities
  • Girls and women
  • Regional communities
  • Remote communities


Jason is the great-grandson of a Kamilaroi warrior. The Kamilaroi or "Gamilaroi" are a Koori people who are from the area which extends from around Singleton in the Hunter Valley through to the Warrumbungle Mountains in the west.

Jason represented Australia in 71 Tests. His fearsome fast bowling gained him 259 wickets at 26.13, with best bowling figures of 7 for 37. No slouch with the bat, he amassed 1218 runs at 18.73 during his career, including a memorable 201 not out.


Faith Thomas, née Coulthard, is a former Australian cricketer and hockey player. Her mother, Ivy, was a traditional Adnyamathanha woman. After being introduced to cricket by a colleague at Royal Adelaide Hospital, she soon made the State women's team. In 1958 she was selected for the Australian national team, and in a Test against England became the first Aboriginal person to represent Australia in a Test Match.

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Tennant Creek

Tennant Creek, 500 kilometres north of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, has a population more than 3000 people.

The town hasn't had a cricket competition for over 20 years: junior cricketers make a 1000 kilometre round-trip each week to play club cricket in Alice Springs.

Despite these challenges, the children of Tennant Creek have become more involved in cricket. In 2015 the town will have its first representative team in 20 years, which will compete in the NT Cricket junior pathway carnival.

Vital to the rejuvenation of cricket in Tennant Creek has been using engaging cricket environments, such as MILO T20 Blast.

Case Study Tips:

  1. Short sharp games – no more than about 20 overs per game.
  2. Batters have a set number of overs to bat regardless of the amount of times they get out.
  3. Smaller team numbers of 6-8 to maximise engagement and involvement of participants.
  4. Small boundaries to encourage big hitting.
  5. Target zones to achieve bonus runs.
  6. Music to create atmosphere.

Also in Guide to Diversity: