A warning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers, this story contains the name and image of someone who has passed away.
Aunty Faith Thomas, the first Aboriginal woman to represent Australia on the global sporting stage, has passed away – aged 90.
In 1958, Aunty Faith became the first of just four Indigenous people to play Test cricket for Australia, alongside Jason Gillespie in 1996, Ash Gardner in 2019, and Scott Boland in 2021.
The Adnyamathanha woman first learnt to play the game while training as a nurse and started her cricketing career when she was invited by a colleague to play in a club game in Adelaide.
After just three games she was chosen to represent South Australia and was chosen the following year to play for Australia.
She was also one of the first Aboriginal nurses in South Australia and in 2019, was awarded an Order of Australia for her services to cricket and the Indigenous community.
Thomas passed away on Saturday and in a statement, Cricket Australia says she ‘was an inspiration to those who have followed, and she leaves an indelible mark on the game.
It also acknowledged her work as one of the first Aboriginal nurses in South Australia saying, “Faith’s work in the community in many roles including as a nurse and midwife was also immense, and the care and compassion she displayed for the many people she helped was truly remarkable.”