Jul 23, 2009

Ian Thorpe: Australia’s dirty little secret

In a speech given in London earlier this month, Australian Olympic legend Ian Thorpe dove head first into Australia's failure to address the problems in indigenous communities.

In a speech given at the “Beyond Sport Summit” in London on Thursday July 9, 2009, Australian Olympic legend Ian Thorpe dove head first into Australia’s failure to address the problems in its indigenous communities.


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85 thoughts on “Ian Thorpe: Australia’s dirty little secret

  1. denise allen

    Ian, what an inspiration you are. Your speech brought me to tears. Lets hope Governments of all persuasions read you speech and realise that our first Australians need a new kind of recognition. We can learn so much from them – what we need is a Bush University – run purely by Aboriginal people – located in an aboriginal community where both black and white Australians – particularly white Australians can go and study everything about aboriginal culture from the dream time to bush foods. Then white Australians will have a true understanding of how wonderful this culture is. Then we might truly have equality.

  2. Peter Johnstone

    This article by Ian Thorpe, a speech given at the “Beyond Sport Summit” in London on Thursday July 9, 2009, deserves much wider publicity. I am, no doubt unfairly, surprised at Thorpe’s mature depth of knowledge and understanding of the totally unaccceptable plight of so many indigenous Australians. The fact that Ian Thorpe understands this disgraceful situation might help other Australiands to recognise the need to respect and support our indigenous people.
    – Peter Johnstone

  3. Jon Hunt

    Ian appears to have the wisdom to have been able to hit many nails on the head at once.

  4. acannon

    Good on you, Ian Thorpe. Now, we all need to step up as you have done.

  5. Colin Jones

    Bravo Ian. Just how do we change the status quo where all we get is rhetoric from politicians and no really constructive way out of this grossly unfair state of affairs.
    The first Australians have been treated like garbage for 220 years now and I am ashamed of our country and have been for a long time now and despair. They at least have their own culture, unlike us who import ours and mostly from the U.S.A. They deserve better, much better from our so called prosperous country.

  6. Peter Adams

    When a sports star is able to direct their achievements towards a higher aim, only then can they begin to lay a valid claim to greatness.

    While I could never stomach the hysterical rantings of sports commentators who fling superlatives around like confetti, the Ian Thorpe I’ve just read about here is truly worthy of respect and admiration.

    Ian, congratulations for stirring our consciences and for seeking to better yourself and the nation through study and your work beyond sport.

  7. Steven McKiernan

    I had the privilege to work with Ian for two days when he was filming ‘Fish Out of Water’ about the current state of the environmental issues we are facing in Australia. He is a humourous young man, an engaging and down to Earth character. I was impressed with his quick wit and eagerness to seek out answers. This speech is entirely consistent with the person I worked with.

    Mature, engaged, driven to action and make change, and committed to the health of all Australians and especially Aboriginal Australians. I can only regard him with even greater respect.

  8. David Siebert

    If only all sports people were as intelligent, thoughtful, altruistic and eloquent as Ian Thorpe. This certainly raises the bar and makes me even less tolerant of some of the stupid thugs that grace our news headlines. A guy like this makes you proud to be counted as an Australian.

  9. YKC

    Ian Thorpe is truly a rare talent. If only more were like him.

  10. chinda

    Fantastic stuff, Ian.

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