Holly out to make mob proud

Wearing the Casey Demons Indigenous dress is a special moment for netballer and proud Kurnai woman Holly Stephens. 410348 Picture: SUPPLIED

Casey Demons netballer Holly Stephens, an exceptional athlete and proud Kurnai woman, shared her thoughts ahead of the Victorian Netball League’s First Nations Round.

Her participation in the First Nations Round holds profound significance, reflecting her deep connection to her heritage and her community.

For Holly, wearing the special Indigenous dress designed by Krstel Petrevski is a deeply personal and meaningful experience.

The artwork on the dress, which narrates Krstel’s life, upbringing, and country in Western Australia, serves as a vivid tapestry of cultural storytelling.

This design not only honours Krstel’s journey but also pays homage to all those who have been part of the Casey Demons, past and future.

“It’s really special to me and is an honour to wear our Indigenous dress,” Holly said, emphasizing how this connection transcends the personal and extends into the broader Casey community.

The First Nations Round and NAIDOC round, hold a cherished place in Holly’s heart.

These rounds are not just events on the sporting calendar; they are moments of reflection, gratitude, and representation.

Holly expresses profound appreciation for the opportunity to play the sport she loves at a high level, acknowledging that many Indigenous people do not have the same access to sports or opportunities.

“Throughout these rounds, I feel so grateful that I’m able to play the sport I love at a high level and I try to play for the Indigenous people that don’t get the same access to the sport or opportunities that I did,” she said.

For Holly, these rounds are about more than just the game.

They embody a commitment to her mob and community, a dedication to representing them with pride and honour.

“To me, Reconciliation and NAIDOC Round mean playing for my mob and community and hoping I can represent them in a way that would make them proud,” Holly explains.

This sense of duty and pride underscores her every move on the field, where she strives to be her best.

“First Nations Round means we are able to come together and learn more about culture,” Holly notes, highlighting the round’s role in fostering unity and cultural appreciation.

Holly’s journey as an Indigenous athlete is marked by her unwavering dedication to her heritage and her community.

Her participation in these special rounds is not just about celebrating her identity, but also about paving the way for future generations.

Through her efforts, she hopes to bridge gaps, create opportunities, and inspire pride in Indigenous culture within the broader sporting community.

This week Casey Demons take on Geelong Cougars in First Nations Round at the State Netball Centre, Parkville on the land of the Wurundjeri people.

-Rebekah Bogos-