This book presents journeys of sixteen Indigenous Australian athletes from their first touch of a ‘footy’ to the highest levels of Australian football and rugby league, conceptualized as a process of learning. The authors challenge simplistic explanations of Indigenous success in Australian football and rugby league, centered on the notion of the ‘natural athlete’. The book traces the development of Indigenous sporting expertise as a lifelong process of learning situated in local culture and shaped by the challenges of transitioning into professional sport. Individually, the life stories told by the participants provide fascinating insights into experience, culture and learning. Collectively, they provided deep understanding of the powerful influence that Aboriginal culture exerted on the participants’ journeys to the top of their sports while locating individual experience and agency within larger economic, cultural and social considerations.
Stories of Indigenous Success in Australian Sport will be of interest to students and scholars across a range of disciplines including Indigenous studies, physical education, education, sport management and sociology.