Ash Barty’s recent French Open win has exposed the lengths some Australians will take to try and erase acknowledgement of Barty’s Indigenous Bloodlines.
After Ash Barty’s breakthrough Grand Slam Title win at the French open, Indigenous communities were some of the most vocal supporters to congratulate Barty on her performance. The buzz on social media caught the attention of many Australian’s who didn’t realise Ashleigh Barty was a proud Indigenous woman.
When some of these people questioned Barty’s race, others responded with screenshots of Barty’s wikipedia page which states that Barty is Indigenous. In the days following her win, the word Indigenous was repeatedly removed from the first line of Barty’s wikipedia page which can easily be edited online.
Through her Father, Barty has Ngarigo bloodlines which is something she is proud of and acknowledged publicly. In 2018 she was named the National Indigenous Ambassador by Tennis Australia. Barty also credits Indigenous tennis great, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, as one of her strongest mentors and is thankful for the pathway she created.
At the time of writing, the word Indigenous has been removed twice from the first line of Barty’s wikipedia page in the last 2 hours.
Even though removing the word does nothing to change who Barty is, we feel it’s important to highlight the lengths people are willing to take to try and deny readers the chance to learn that she is in fact an Indigenous woman.
While these actions may seem petty, they are an attack against Indigenous identity which is something that has been happening in this country since colonisation. The fact it’s still happening today shows how the process of colonisation continues today, dispelling the myth that, “all these things happened years ago.” Policies of the past were aimed at breeding our race out but today we are witnessing an ongoing attempt to complete that process by the descendants of earlier colonisers.
Other examples of these modern day actions include efforts to silence, ignore, discredit or hijack dialogue of Aboriginal history and present day issues such as Land Rights and calls to change Australia’s flag and anthem. The number of modern day colonisers is not small either as these actions occur on a regular basis across all sectors of Australian society.
Welcome to Country is an independent Indigenous news/media website. We publish news and views that are often ignored by Australia’s mainstream media.