Proud Milingimbi woman Sylvia Nulpinditj has made history by being the first woman to commentate an AFL game in an Indigenous language.
Nulpinditj was joined in the commentator’s box on Saturday by Yolngu men Baykali Ganambarr and William Gumbula and the trio called the Gold Coast SUNS and Hawthorn game at TIO Stadium. She commentated the game in traditional Yolngu Matha language.
The history-making call was broadcast on Yolngu Radio, a major Indigenous community radio station in the Northern Territory.
Ahead of the game, Yolngu Radio station manager Will Porter said it was great to have Nulpinditj on the broadcast.
“Not only is Sylvia a talented producer, writer and broadcaster, but she is a philosophical thinker who will bring a wealth of experience to the call,” he said via a statement to the AFL.
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While Nulpinditj is the first woman to call the match in traditional Yolngu Matha language, Saturday’s game marks the fourth occasion an elite AFL match has been broadcast in the language.
Speaking to the ABC, Nulpinditj said that although it was her first time calling an AFL match, she knew it would be something that fellow Yolngu would love. “Everything happening in the very moment of the match, will be all in Yolngu Matha and that is exciting,” she said.
“I’m hoping that many of the Yolngu women, Yolngu mums, young mums, young girls and not just Yolngu — every woman in all walks of life — I hope that they can see me,” she added.