ACT Meteors off-spinner Sally Moylan was recently recognised as the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year at the ACT Training Excellence Awards.
She was rewarded for excelling in her horticulture, conservation and land management studies.
The 26-year-old recently just completed a visit back to her primary school in Wellington, a small town located 350 kilometres west of Sydney, as part of the annual Naidoc (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week celebrations.
We caught up with her to chat about the award, her studies and the season ahead.
What type of impact has the award had on you so far?
I’ve received a lot of acknowledgement and have met some high-profile people. It’s great to take credit from my last three years of study because I’ve never done anything like that before. Being rewarded with something like that is such an honour.
What does this honour mean to you as an Aboriginal?
That’s my heritage and I’m proud of where I come from and who I am. It’s great to let other Indigenous people know that if they put their minds to it and study hard, they can pursue whatever they want in life.
How useful was the Ed Grant provided to you from the ACA?
The Ed Grant has been a great thing for me because without it, I probably wouldn’t have studied. It gives me a lot of financial reassurance. I’ve had a lot of support through National Player Development and Wellbeing Manager Ben Smith, which has made my life a lot easier.
Have any further ambitions come out of winning the award?
I’ve always been interested in education. There might now be some opportunities for me to go and be a mentor to youth who are finding it tough to get out there to kick-start their study.
How important is it in achieving that work/life/study balance?
As a sportswoman I know how important it is to have that work, life, study balance so your mind isn’t just focused on one aspect of your life. Study allows me to switch off from cricket and take my mind to other places. It keeps me going and I think that’s what works for me. It’s also taught me how to be a lot more organised and hopefully I can incorporate that skill into my cricket.
We’ve noticed that you’ve received a flood of support online. That must be satisfying.
The support I received was unreal and it really blew me away. I remember being that 13-year-old kid at the back of the assembly being inspired by guest speakers so hopefully some people see what I’ve done and get inspired just like I did.
How did enjoy celebrating Naidoc Week at your old primary school in Wellington?
It was great! It’s a very significant day for Aboriginal and Torre Straight Islanders and half of the school is Indigenous. It’s all about the culture, closing the gap and getting everyone involved in one big community. That’s what Wellington is all about and that’s why I love going back there. It was where I started playing cricket and was great to run into teachers who were there throughout my entire schooling.
We heard you’ve experienced a setback in the lead-up to the season. What happened?
I tore my hamstring so I’ve been rehabbing but I'm back on track. I’m just trying to make sure that I’m fit and ready to go for our first round of the National League.
How’s the pre-season coming along at the Comets?
I’m loving it at the moment! The setup’s good and we’re working on a lot of things as a team. We’re gelling and it’s amazing to be around all the girls again.
What are your goals for season 2014-15?
I just need to keep ticking boxes and playing my role. The team will be looking to make finals again, hopefully go one step further and win it.