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League-first Aboriginal light show transforms Optus Stadium during Perth Scorchers First Nations Round fixture

Callan Morse -

The Perth Scorchers opened the Big Bash League's First Nation's Round on Wednesday with a league-first Aboriginal light show designed by a Nyoongar Elder.

Produced in partnership by Dr Richard Walley and the Scorchers, the immersive LED light show titled The Bilya, transformed Optus Stadium during the innings break between the Scorchers and Strikers, paying homage to Perth's Traditional Owners.

Dr Walley, who has family ties to the Wadjuk, Ballardong, Yued, Wardan, Binjarreb, and Yamatji countries guided the development of The Bilya, which tells the cultural narrative of Whadjuk country on which Optus Stadium and the WACA Ground stand.

A live Welcome to Country was held as part of the First Nations Round fixture. (Image: supplied, Perth Scorchers)

The light show featured original drawings by Dr Walley and also included narration and accompanying didgeridoo from proud Whadjak Ballardong Nyoongar and Badimaya Yamatji man, Jayden Boundary.

Including bright colours, echoing the vividness of Aboriginal art and the dynamism of the sport, the showpiece aimed to emphasise the Swan River and the symbiotic relationship between nature through Aboriginal storytelling, with an emphasis on respect, unity, and the richness of culture and heritage.

Perth Scorchers Head Coach, Adam Voges, said the occasion was an opportunity to show and pay respects to the Traditional Owners of the land.

A barefoot circle preceded the match between the Scorchers and Strikers. (Image: supplied, Perth Scorchers)

"Learning the cultural narrative of Whadjuk land is really important. We're all committed to reconciliation, and learning and education is a big part of that. It's also about being able to acknowledge history and pay our respects," Voges said.

In addition to the The Bilya lightshow, both the Scorchers and Strikers participated in a pre-game barefoot circle, with a live Welcome to Country also held.

Both sides wore their club's respective Indigenous uniforms, the Scorchers' donning a strip designed by Nyoongar artist Linda Loo, a self-taught artist who was born in Corrigin and is connected to the Balladong and Whadjuk clans.

Members of the Scorchers and Strikers participated in the barefoot circle. (Image: supplied, Perth Scorchers)

Proud Mitakoodi man, D'Arcy Short was the sole Indigenous player who featured in the match.

Short could only manage 6 (7) as the Scorchers comfortably beat the visiting Strikers, who managed 10-169 in response to Perth's hefty first innings score of 4-211.


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