Faith Thomas

Born in Neppabunna in South Australia, Faith Thomas (nee Coulthard) is celebrated as the first indigenous woman to play cricket for Australia.

Her Mother, an Adnyamathana woman from the Flinders Ranges, wanted a better life for her daughter rather than working in kitchens in pubs so handed Faith to the Colbrook Mission.

Faith went on to a career as a midwife, trained at the Royal Adelaide Hospital – one of the first indigenous women to do so, and by chance that she went with a colleague to cricket training one evening. She was a natural with the ball and could achieve high speeds.

In 1956/7 Faith was selected in the South Australian team for the Australian Women’s Cricket Championships and by 1957/8 had created such a name for herself that she was selected to play for Australia in the second Test against England at St Kilda ground in Melbourne.

Probably the unluckiest Test for any fast bowler to play, the Test became known as the Betty Wilson Test, where Australia was spun out by Mary Duggan for 38 and Betty Wilson returned fire with her own spin bowling, rolling England for 35. Not much for a fast bowler to do there… it was Faith’s one and only Test!

Faith did meet up with the English on two more occasions however, playing for South Australia at Mount Gambier.

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