Cheryl is a Wadjuk traditional owner who still lives in the Swan Valley region where she grew up. Although she was a standout track and field athlete as a girl, it was the local PCYC basketball club that won Cheryl’s loyalty. The club offered a strong community and the sport gave her a new self-confidence, leadership skills, and the chance to travel. Cheryl went on to play in many representative teams, and eventually captained the Rockets in the Women’s National Basketball League.
Alongside these sporting achievements, Cheryl carved out an academic path for herself. She’s now a University Professor, writer and researcher. In recent years Cheryl initiated a special after-school basketball program for 5-14 year olds in her local area.
The program draws on her expertise with Indigenous kids, but is open to all; and aims to encourage families who might otherwise be limited by their postcode.
In the Australian of the Year awards, Cheryl was named 2019 WA Local Hero.