WHEN Natalie Planes runs out for her first game of AFLW 4.0, she’ll bring a piece of her heritage with her.
The Carlton midfielder will proudly represent her Indigenous background with the Aboriginal flag printed across her mouthguard.
“I got the aboriginal flag on my mouthguard, I needed a new one,” Plane said when speaking with Sarah Hosking the Behind the Game Changers podcast.
A Kamilaroi woman, Plane’s lineage can be followed back to the Gunnedah-Tamworth region of New South Wales on her mother’s side of the family.
Tracing back her own heritage over the years, Plane has found pride in being able to reconnect with her culture over the generations.
“Our Aboriginal heritage is on my mum’s side of the family, so I think I’m pretty lucky to have Aboriginal blood run through me,” she said.
“It’s something really special for our country and it’s something I’m very proud of. I love to share my story and let people know stuff about my culture, where we’re from and our family story.
“Something we’ve been trying to do is learn and connect with family and just try learn as much as possible about that kind of stuff.”
The Behind the Game Changers podcast has officially landed!🎤@sarah_hosking10 is on the mic as we get to know the players behind our AFLW program. First up: @NataliePlane!— Carlton Womens (@carltonfc_w) December 13, 2019
Listen to the first episode now.👇#BoundByBlue
An inaugural Blue, Plane spoke on how the elite football environment has allowed her to grow in confidence in expressing her identity as an Aboriginal woman.
“A lot go the girls feel pretty comfortable to come up to me and ask questions that they’re unsure of,” she said.
“I think a lot of people sometimes are hesitant towards that kind of stuff, so I think it just shows the kind of group and trust that we have in each other.”
In July, Plane joined a group of Carlton AFLW players on a trip to the Northern Territory with Indigenous health development organisation Red Dust.
The trip saw the group travel from Daly River to Wadeye in a bid to promote healthy living in remote communities, an experience Plane remains grateful for.
“I’d been fortunate enough with cricket stuff to go up to a couple of remote communities for the day, similar to Red Dust. But that was such an amazing experience just to hang out with the kids,” she said.
“It’s something I’m grateful that I got to do and be a part of and I guess continue to learn about my culture and other people’s culture as well.”