Australian icon visits Wadeye

08 January 2014
On Thursday 28th November Wadeye Community was buzzing with excitement as an Australian Icon and Olympic Gold Medallist Cathy Freeman was coming to town!
Cathy with OLSH students
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Senior Constable Sarah Kings

The local school, Our Lady of Sacred Heart (OLSH) was the place to be that morning as the junior school students put on a fantastic display of traditional dance and song in a cultural ceremony to welcome Cathy to the community.

Cathy visited Wadeye as she recognised it as a potential community to be sponsored by her foundation, The Cathy Freeman Foundation.

The Cathy Freeman Foundation was established by Olympic champion, Cathy Freeman, to give Australian Indigenous children a brighter future through education.

At the conclusion of the junior school cultural ceremony Cathy enjoyed lunch with the staff of the OLSH and then attended the Senior School. She visited classrooms and observed work the children had been doing at school and was brought to tears by a local grade 9 boy who had written a story about Wadeye and he read it out to her.  She was also rendered speechless in the year 7 and 8 geography and history class, who had created a Cathy Freeman Hall of Fame on the back wall of their classroom. Lots of photos were taken with the school children, lots of hugs and handshakes were given by Cathy to all the students, their families and the teachers.

The afternoon was complete with a kick of footy at the main oval and an inspirational speech given by Cathy to all the young players of AFL in the Community. They were in awe of her and sat quietly, taking in every word she said. She was very inspirational and gave the kids of Wadeye hope that one day they could be like her.

Cathy stayed overnight in Wadeye and joined the local Police members and their families at the OIC’s residence for a BBQ dinner. Of course one member (name withheld) had to ask the question “Now tell me really was that suit comfortable to run in?” Cathy politely responded to the question and everyone had a laugh.

Cathy’s visit was very uplifting for the whole community of Wadeye. She is very down to earth, fitting right in with everyone. It was a great pleasure for members of the community to meet such an amazing person.  Cathy has a strong belief in her foundation and changing the future for indigenous children in communities. We all look forward to having Cathy back in the near future.

You can become involved in the Cathy Freeman foundation in a number of different ways by visiting the website.

"Every child deserves the right to reach their potential and achieve their gold medal moment in life." Cathy Freeman