As one of the brightest rising stars of women’s rugby, and a dedicated Indigenous ambassador, Mahalia Murphy has a big future ahead of her, but her story began in the Western Sydney suburb of Doonside.
“I’m proud to be from the Western Suburbs of Sydney. That’s where I was raised. I grew up in Doonside and I still live there today. There’s a connection there that I really enjoy. I think it’s a very community based suburb. That’s where I started playing rugby league. I kind of grew from my suburb.
In her role as an Indigenous Murphy works with kids across the country. “Being an Indigenous role model is important to me because growing up I faced a few issues, and I try and encourage kids from where I am today. I go out to different communities and share the word of rugby and try and encourage kids to have a crack at anything they want. I go out to different communities and share the word of rugby and try and encourage kids to have a crack at anything they want.” Mahalia has a powerful message for Indigenous kids trying to chase their dreams, “It doesn’t matter what race you are, people are going to face issues at the end of the day it’s about the individual to create their own pathway and have that faith and hope in themselves and believe that they can get anywhere. There’s defiantly people caught up in negative situations, but in the West because it’s so community and family oriented, I think that their support network around them would encourage them and influence them to seek better opportunity in growing themselves.”
Murphy credits her family with much of her success supporting her throughout her rising career. “My family have been a massive support network for me. League or rugby union, it didn’t matter, they were always there to support me in what I did. The highlight of my career is playing at Sydney Sevens. To play on home soil for my country and in front of my family was a big moment for me and I was very proud to do that. I wake up and do the hard work to go to sleep feeling like I’ve done everything I could to better myself for the next day.”
On the future, Mahalia has one big goal. “Tokyo Olympics is in 2 years. Any elite athlete that’s their ultimate goal to represent their country at the Olympics and hopefully win a gold medal, but I’m working on the stepping stones and focusing on what I have to do as an individual and how I can execute that in a team. Tokyo is in my mind.”
Watch the video to hear more of Mahalia’s amazing story.