2 December 2021 | Tennis Victoria

On Monday November 15, nine Tennis Victoria staff joined the team from Anglicare Victoria as they began their trip up the Dungala (Murray River)!

Travelling by boat and on the road, the team joined Buldau Yioohgen to learn about culture whilst out on country.

The team were also escorting two VIPs on the four-day journey. Australian Open trophies Daphne and Norm joined the travelling crew as they continued their tour around regional Victoria, before heading back to Melbourne for the 109th Australian Open.

The journey began with a Welcome to Country and Culture on Court session at Echuca Tennis Club, before the crew set off for their week of culture, learning and community tennis!

“Culture on Court is a program that is lead by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, first and foremost.” Anglicare Victoria Program Manager David Law explains.

“Then it falls in conjunction with the game of tennis and all the great values that sit beside it as well.”

Anglicare Victoria Cultural Ambassador Ian Goolagong highlights what he finds so rewarding about the Culture on Court program.

“I have the feeling of joy… and the feeling that I know I actually got across to some people. They’ve started to learn something and they understand a bit more about their culture and they understand a bit more about where they’re from. The whole idea is to try and help them find their own identity.”

Tennis Victoria Club Development Officer Kyle McMullan relished the opportunity to be involved in the Culture on Court program.

“Dungala experience was a fantastic opportunity to get out on country and learn more about Indigenous Culture. Being welcomed onto country by local elders as we made our way from Echuca to Swan Hill and the hearing stories from local elders was really special. Echuca, Koondrook and Swan Hill tennis clubs did a great job of hosting our culture on court events and was awesome to see the youth grow and enjoy some tennis over the course of the trip.”

Finishing their journey at Swan Hill Tennis Club, the group were greeted by a fantastic piece of First Nations artwork, created by artist Arkie

Barton for the 2021 Australian Open. The artwork, named “The Pirntikale”, was a gift to Swan Hill Tennis Club from Tennis Australia.

Tennis Victoria would like to thank Anglicare Victoria and Buldau Yioohgen for bringing us along on this incredible cultural journey!