–Pat Cash reveals why he won’t be celebrating Australia Day–Pat Cash reveals why he won’t be celebrating Australia Day


TENNIS legend Pat Cash has revealed he won’t be celebrating Australia Day this year because he’s “embarrassed” to be an Aussie.

The former Wimbledon champ says his work with Indigenous charity Children’s Ground has changed his perspective.

Referring to January 26 as “Invasion Day”, Cash told Nine’s Weekend Today the experience of working with Aboriginal communities left him shocked had moved him to tears.

“I got to the stage I cannot celebrate Australia Day. I’m sorry,” he said.

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“As an Australian who brought two Davis Cups home, representing my country, January 26 is not a day of celebration for me. People who really look into it would question that.

“That is not going to be a celebration for me, it’s like an Invasion Day, celebrating white England — English landing.

“As you can see it has changed my life. Seeing what has gone on up there.”

Cash said his niece had introduced him to the charity Children’s Ground, which works to help Indigenous families living in the Northern Territory.

He said seeing the poverty and the situation in the NT first-hand had been “mindblowing”.

“I was out of the country for years — I had no idea how bad it was up there,” Cash told Nine’s Today.

“I went to the community, seeing the elders together with the young kids, getting on the ground on the land and teaching them in their language.

“I’ve got to say I was embarrassed to be Australian, I was shocked. It was mindblowing. I was in tears half the time seeing the poverty and the situation these people are in.

“As an Australian away for 30 years, I had no idea. I thought things were better. Things have got worse. I mean it’s absolutely 100 per cent clear this system is not working. Children’s Ground are trying to change this system.”

Cash, who now coaches American star Coco Vandeweghe, told Today the system had failed the Indigenous communities.

He said the charity was helping to empower Aboriginal elders.

The interview casused a stir on social media, with some Twitter users asking why the footage was not on Nine’s website.

Cash’s view on Australia Day comes after former Labor leader Mark Latham launched a separate campaign to save the date of Australia Day on January 26.

But the ABC has changed the date of its historic Hottest 100 Countdown on Triple J due to recent controversy surrounding the date. – #1 – All News First!

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