Congratulations to Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, who was drafted to the Western Bulldogs with the number one pick in the AFL national draft last night. Jamarra grew up in the Aboriginal community at Framlingham in the South-West Coast electorate, and I have known Jamarra since he was a baby from my time working at Kirrae Health Service in the community, where I worked with his mum, Alice Ugle, and with the late Violet Clark, his grandmother. Since then I have watched him grow up to become a fine young man, and I am so proud that all his hard work has paid off and he is now living his dream. In a recent ABC interview Jamarra is quoted as saying:
If I make it and get the career I want, hopefully it changes the opportunities for other boys and girls as well. And not just Indigenous boys, multicultural kids as well, to give them that freedom to have that belief they can make it to the main stage, even if it’s not football, just life in general.
That sums up the young man Jamarra is and reflects the values that have been instilled in him by his beautiful family. I am so sad that Violet is no longer here with us to see her boy succeed. I know she would be incredibly proud of him. I know too that Pauline Delaney and Dr Phillip Hall, who I also worked with at Kirrae and who know Jamarra, will be thrilled he has been drafted to the Bulldogs, as mad Doggies fans. Congratulations to his mum, Alice; dad, Aaron; and his entire family, who have helped Jamarra on his path. I know they will be so proud and excited for what his future holds for him.